Hari Om Everyone,
i hope this email finds everyone well...
When was the last time you wrote a letter? When was the last time you did not check your electronic mail (email) for a day? When was the last time you clicked on Save Now instead of Send? A loooooooooong time ago...if ever. The use of email is as pervasive as oxygen. The young, the old, the literate, the illiterate, the rich, the poor, are all 'breathing' emails. Yet humans did not create oxygen. This is a naturally present element which humans naturally interact with. Conversely, humans did create email. And since this is not natural, humans need to learn to interact with email, to not be incarcerated by email. With this introduction, you, me and emails is the Subject of this E-Vichara...
E-Vichara (September 12, 2011) --- Email Etiquette
-The aim of technological development is a balance of efficiency and effectiveness (i.e. a microwave can heat up food/drinks much quicker than a stove) - if only efficiency is achieved or only effectiveness is achieved than technology has not reached its mark (i.e. if a microwave was quick but did not heat up the food/drink or if a microwave heat up the food/drink but was slow)
-Email is extremely efficient in saving time, infrastructure, trees, etc. still email can never be as effective as a samvada (physical dialogue) - this is the essence of why living in a Gurukula (Monastery with a Spiritual Teacher) can never be replaced by a webcast, by a cd, by a book
-Everyday we send/receive 10s (based on one's role/responsibilities this 10 can be X 10!) of emails and keeping up with this volume demands dedication, determination and direction to deliver and not be defeated - ideally, we should devote (meaning no talking, no eating, no watching, etc.) certain periods of the day for certain amounts of time to address emails (i.e. 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in the day and 30 minutes in the evening)
-When we think we should be clear, when we speak we should be clear and when we write we should be clear for all are an expression of each other - questions should be underlined, important points should be emboldened, the subject should be transparent, recipients in the To: Cc: Bcc: should be limited, chains should be focused, essentially presence of mind should be invoked through engaging in emails
-Though email is a legitimate means of communication (i.e. messages on Facebook are not) in the banking world, real estate world, spiritual organization world, etc. if another/others have not replied to an email needing a reply, we should be proactive (make a note of a followup date as soon as the initial email is sent) in reminding that person/people to reply and if still no reply is received, follow up with a phone call/s - in the same way we should be diligent to reply to all emails needing our attention in the order of emergency, administrative, personal, not just ignore the email and pretend like the other person/s will not care/notice (a.k.a. apathy)
-Whenever we write an email, actually whenever we do any action, we should empathize with all potential recipients in regards to the necessity of the email, the content of the email, the frequency of emails (i.e. despite the E-Vicharas being conducive to self development, these are only regularly sent to those who sign up to receive these, not everyone i just feel like sending these to) - when we think twice about our email culture, sending/receiving emails will increase in quality, decrease in quantity and peace will prevail
Excuses in any field are weak and a sign of weakness. In the context of our E-Vichara our excuses tend to be:
Sender: "No one replies to my emails sob sob sob."
Receiver: "Everyone keeps sending me emails wah wah wah."
To help us make less excuses as a sender and receiver, please read, reflect and run with the following email charter - 10 Rules to Reverse the Email Spiral (http://www.swiss-miss.com/2011/06/email-charter.html)
"One thing you can't recycle is wasted time." --- Unknown