The lost art of e-mail writing


As the days zoom by, and our ADD-riddled children turn into nihilistic Starbucks-fueled teens in a heartbeat, we must pause to take stock. Why must life move so quickly? What have we forfeited for such a go-go existence?

Can we not turn back the clock?

Yes, I say, yes indeed. We must recapture a slower time, when people stopped to flip each other off in traffic, rather than fire guns or ram their vehicles into each other. The good ol’ days, when a gallon gas cost $2, and a supersize meal was both dinner and guilty pleasure all rolled into one.

I propose another look at the lost art of e-mail writing.

emailetiquette.jpgFind a cozy spot, preferably one in which the sunlight dapples ever so gently. Take your trusted laptop, Old Blue, out of its handknit computer cozy (the one your Grammy made you when you were 5) and turn it on.

You’re about to reconnect with old friends and new gam3rz.

Has the wi-fi signal kicked in? Do you feel the tension leaving your body?

You are ready, noble scribe, to e-mail.

“Dearest Crazy Bitch,” you declare, “What is up? Same shit, different day, like always. You know me, I likes my hooch and me hoochies. (laughing out loud)”

This isn’t instant messaging, so remember to spell out acronyms and form near-complete sentences.

Stuck for something to say? Don’t fret. Like blogging, you can fill the sentences with inflammatory opinions and rehearsed facts. After all, this is two-way communication, and you want to ensure that your electronic penpal, or e-penpal, will write back.

“Did you hear the latest about the current U.S. President? I can’t believe he would try something like that. It makes me so (mad, proud, insane, insanely proud).”

Personal touches make your e-mail stand out, so make certain to ask questions and share details about the intimate moments of your daily life.

“How’s your ex-spouse? And your new live-in mooch of a significant other? I think you could do better, in my humble opinion, just my two cents worth, if I recall correctly.

“Nothing new here. I got a new car, but you knew that. And I went to the rock band concert performance, but I already texted you from the show. So, you know, whatever.”

Don’t worry about being perfect. Your friendly words and tacky emoticons are enough to bring a smile to any treasured recipient or his junk e-mail folder.

Before you click “Send,” enclose a meaningful memento, such as 200 or so hand-picked photos from your last vacation (all 1MB each) or a favorite inspirational chain e-mail, or even a link to a site that offers a mildly amusing musical greeting card.

You’re done. Your digital correspondence is on its way, and you’ve managed to upload some joy while downloading some serenity.

Savor these times. Spam those you love with kindness. And always keep a 🙂 in your heart.


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