Email atrophy

Atrophy is a decline or decrease in something due to disuse.

To put it simply, use it or lose it! Unused muscles atrophy or waste away. Google “atrophy” and you’ll find plenty of diseases.

But I’ve discovered a new disease: email atrophy. And I think I know the cause.

A lot of people now spend too much of their spare time using Facebook. They have Facebook with them everywhere on their smart phone; all their friends use Facebook; when they want to communicate with someone they use Facebook or SMS. When they sit down at their computer, what’s the first thing they do? Facebook. I call them FaceSlaves.

They’ve forgotten about email. To use email means they have to check two things: Facebook and email. And why should they, when all their friends are “friends” on Facebook. And how can you “like” an email. You’d have to reply to it with some words, and that’s hard.

So why should you use email?

Well here’s why: not everyone is on Facebook! Some organisations such as governments don’t use Facebook for important communication. Schools and universities do not use Facebook to tell you whether you passed or failed. The club you belong to will not contact you via Facebook when your membership is about to expire. Your library will not “Facebook” you when you have an overdue book or DVD. Your employer will not tell you via Facebook that your salary payment was screwed up and it will be a day or two late.

And here’s something else about Facebook.

Have you noticed that Facebook is… how can I put it… a little bit superficial? It’s all about a restaurant someone likes, or a friend has bought a new handbag and wants you to “like” it. Or someone is bored and thought their friends should know about it. Yes, it is a good way to share photos of your new baby with your friends. But it’s not a good way to tell Aunt Jemima about the funeral arrangements for her long-lost brother.

Have you ever noticed any deep and meaningful or important information exchanged by two people on Facebook? Have you ever Googled some question such as “Why do we have blood groups?” and found the answer on Facebook?

What I’m suggesting is this; check your email regularly. Perhaps there’s something really important in your inbox right now. Emails are the best way we have of sharing feelings with someone important now that hand-written letters have fallen into disuse.

And Blogs are still the best way of getting something off your chest, even if no one reads it because they’re all too busy on Facebook “liking” a picture of the meal someone had last night.

PS – I just remembered one more thing Facebook is good for: getting traffic to  your blog.


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