The New Aged E-mail

I remember when I was growing up either my mom or my teachers taught me how to write letters the proper way. I learned how to start the letter, how long it should be, my signature and where certain parts needed to be on the paper. I used to have pen pals. I used to write random letters to my family members and mail them, I wrote letters a lot. Then came e-mail. When I was learning about e-mail I was still told that I needed to have a greeting, possibly a header, and a signature. I always wrote my emails just as I did letters. Then came phones and texting (I am aware that this may not be the actual order of things but this is how I remember it). When I first started texting I always used proper english, never abbreviated for the word “you”,  never really used “lol” or “btw”. I remember I always ran out of room (your typically only allowed to use 160 characters per message) and would have to take away vital parts of my message, or just send more than one text. I would even say bye when I was done texting. Slowly I started abbreviating more and more. Now I find that I always use “u” for “you” and “b” for “be”, I am not interested in sending multiple texts for one point. Meanwhile I was always written my e-mails the same, although I have noticed that people no longer say “Dear Bob,” So I typically write my e-mails like this:


This is Jessica……….

thank you,

As I started replying to things on Craigslist I noticed that people will respond with a few words, “no I don’t have it”, or “yes It’s available”. Nothing else is in these e-mails but that. Then the other day Bryan sent an e-mail from my account asking someone how much they wanted for a certain item he saw on Craigslist. I later received an e-mail that said “400 dollars” that was it! I had no idea who this was or what he wanted!

Maybe I am just old fashioned but this bothers me. Since when did e-mails become like text messages? So impersonal, so generic? It bugs me. Probably bugs me more than it should, but it does. How do you feel about it? Am I just crazy?


One thought on “The New Aged E-mail

  1. I know! I have wondered what in the heck kind of lessons they do on correspondence in school now? I guess I’ll find out soon enough, and probably have something to bitch about.

    I mean, back in MY DAY (I’m sitting in my Rascal Scooter while I type this and wait for the Ben-Gay to work) in the ancient times of 93-94, we learned all the rules for writing letters, including business letters and casual letters, and letters to your political representative, etc. And we had to practice. And we had to do that shit in cursive.

    And I’m wondering if that stuff is still covered in public school, because I think it would be nice if it was, try to preserve a dying art of letter-writing. (Channeling the SaTC movie here, but a love-text is nowhere near as swoon-worthy as a love-letter)

    But on the other hand, I can look at it objectively and say well…maybe working on penmanship and mail etiquette could be wasted energy and resources because it has so fallen out of favor with the general public .

    Seriously, you can do almost anything through texting now. I hardly even use email anymore unless it is for Craigslist, or a few newsletters I subscribe to, or online banking/billpaying. Most other communication goes through texts, IMs, PMs, rarely phone calls…

    I mean, business deals are struck and contracts finalized using only BlackBerry’s.

    So should kids instead be having lessons (not lame outdated embarrassing ones) about internet safety and text-iquette and the risk of sexting?

    My phone actually has the big instant messenger programs on it, and they work pretty well when I have them set up right. YIM in my pocket, it is a pretty good sign of the times. Always “connected” but never making real connection.

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