Marshall Bowers

Conjurer of code. Devourer of art. Pursuer of æsthetics.

The Good Side of Email

Tuesday, April 7, 2020
303 words
2 minute read

I hate email.

That last statement is only partially true. A more accurate rephrasing is that I hate email as a collaboration tool. I have been on enough forked email threads to know the nightmare that email can easily devolve into. For a while these negative experiences left a sour taste for email in my mouth.

Recently I've found myself emailing more than usual. These emails are only ever between me and one another person; a correspondence reminiscent of handwritten letters penned on stationery. If you've ever been to the stationery floor of LOFT you'll know that there must be some people out there who still dedicate themselves to the art of letter writing. While I'm not one for writing letters out by hand, I can still appreciate them.

While there is certainly an element to holding a physical letter in your hand and admiring—or grimacing at—the penmanship while you read over the words, the soul of a letter is in the written words themselves. It's this soul that is still capturable in an email.

Letters have a certain magic to them. They are a snapshot of someone's thoughts in a given point in time. Years can elapse, people can change, but their words are forever captured on that piece of paper.

In some ways an email is even more magical than a letter.

You can send an email to someone on the other side of the world in an instant. If they're in the habit of keeping owl-like hours you may even receive a reply equally as fast.

You can send an email to someone who you barely know, and as such would not want you knowing their home address.

Show me the good side of email and email me.

I love email.