Today’s the 38th anniversary of the first email ever sent. American scientist Ray Tomlinson apparently kicked of the electronic mail phenomenon by being the first person to send an email from one computer to another.
Thirty-eight years ago.
That astonishes me because the first time I heard about email was, I think, was in 1994, and I only ended up sending an email in 1995 – almost a quarter of a century after it was first conceived. My first email, I believe, was to my friend Wayne who’d emigrated to Australia about a year before, and this sadly ended the handwritten correspondence we had had going.
In commemoration of the date, the Dutch have been encouraged too give up email for 24 hours today, “in a bid to improve efficiency and foster greater personal contact with co-workers”. This is according to Belgian 42-year old Gunnar Michchielsen who contends that email mail disturbs efficiency and disturbs personal contact between colleagues.
Gunner obviously doesn’t know my office, where personal contact between colleagues largely is disturbed in nature, and that the existence of email is what gets me through my work day in tact and leaves me, arguably, no less sane than the previous day.
Without email, I’d be left little choice regarding whether or not to engage with my colleagues’ sarcastic jabs at one another, and with their moments of insanity, inanity and absurdity.
Without email, my friends would not be able to hear about the latest shit going down in my workplace and not be able to reassure me within minutes that it’s them, not me, even when it *is* me.
Without email, I wouldn’t be able to be ridiculously amused by comments attributed to pictures of cats.
Yes, tone is problematic at times in email and meaning is sometimes lost through this medium of communication, but I do not believe for a second that not having email would improve my relationships with my colleagues. So VIVA EMAIL, hail to thee Send/Receive button, you complete me.