Another Problem With Email

02 May 2016
1 minute read

Many people complain about too many email reminders being irritating and unhelpful. Email is the classic mode of communicating tasks because messages are discrete and are easily tagged with various flags. These individuals complain about how repeated emails only serve to aggravate and do not actually increase motivation towards performing the task.

This situation of repeated reminders does stem from somewhere, however. The first paragraph of this article about a high-school research student demonstrates the problem. The professor “ignored the first email from Christopher Hadiono”, the student trying to explore summer research opportunities. He expected that if Christopher were really serious, he would send further communication. This behavior is absurdly rude. It would be one thing for the professor to be very busy and accidentally miss the email he received. The behavior this professor demonstrated is another beast entirely. He saw the email, decided that doing the task entailed in the email would require some effort, and, without making any indication of acknowledgment, chose to wait for further communication as a demonstration of further interest.

This sort of activity is what perpetuates the need for numerous, redundant reminders with email.