Tuesday, 20 July 2010

writing long emails - foolish or wise?

July 19, 2010

I was writing emails again today - and despite the advice of the world to keep emails short and sweet, so that I can have time to network with more people, I still find myself writing long emails, just like I used to write long snail-mail letters when I was young.

Even though they take a long time, I can't help thinking that personal relationships are so important. I can't help thinking that maybe we have more real impact in the long term, if we focus on a limited number of personal relationships, loving, caring, mentoring, sharing - rather than trying to spread out influence thin over a whole bunch of shallow relationships.

The small tribe, village, community where You place us. Rather than the whole celebrity, social marketing, Twitter-depth thing.

You think?


Dan Allen said...


I write short emails, they end up being more like IM chats than letters. I like the nature of conversation that offers, as opposed to a more monologue nature which a letter conveys. That is me, I grew up in the internet world so I am used to immediately sending and receiving so I don't worry about saying everything I need to in one shot as opposed to snail mail where it will be days between sending and receiving.

Concerning your point about the depth of a few relationships verse the shallowness of many, I think you are right on. It is inevitable that the more people you interact with the less time you have for each of those people. It seems to me that we always have people in our lives at different levels of closeness, but I think we should seek to be honest and sincere with everyone. Of course that will look different based on the amount of time we spend with them and how well we know them.

Interesting thoughts! Thanks for sharing!


Norma Hill - aka penandpapermama said...

lol... there you go... You (like my kids) grew up in the internet world. Sometimes I feel caught between! My first experience with computers, at all, was a job as a key-punch operator back in 1973. I didn't start with personal computers till 1990 when my daughter (in kindergarten) insisted we needed one - and I got a beautiful top-of-the-line 286 with amber screen. WooHoo!!! We were on-line in 1996... dial-up days. It was amazing!

Anyway, I grew up in the days of pen-pals, and long, interesting handwritten letters. You may be surprised, but they were NOT monologue... they were very entertaining conversations. We talked about everything - and were always picking up from where the other person left off. Long distance phone calls were incredibly expensive, and there wasn't any other way to communicate over distance.

I used to be amazed at the changes in my grandfather's lifetime (about 1880 to 1975)... but sometimes I think the changes in my time (55 years this Saturday) are just as amazing!

I love the way the internet brings the world together... it's amazing to meet people like you, Dan, for example! And I love old-fashioned, close, deep relationships, too. I've grown up in a good time, I think!