What’s in an email?

When it comes down to it, email is simple. You punch in some letters–that’s an address and boom it goes where you want it to go. How could that go wrong? Well, it seems like email has followed the path of real mail. There’s probably 1 important letter for 100 things in my mail. It always bothered me deeply; the amount of waste and effort that goes into it–think about it, there’s a real human being behind every single one of those random letters you get, maybe a designer, a copywriter, the delivery person, I don't know there are probably hundreds of people that work on getting that letter to you… Only so you can throw it away in the span of 10 seconds after looking at it….the human potential that’s wasted really bothers me.

Email, on the other hand, is probably even worse, I mean for one it uses energy and that energy isn’t “clean”, what I mean is that it seems evident that letters use paper i.e trees, BUT, email uses energy as well. People need to code those spammy emails and manage all those Mailchimp tables and whatever. At the end of the day, one has to wonder how much human energy and potential goes into these artifacts that are completely ignored or archived… Hours of code, I am a designer I coded some emails in my day–let me tell you it wasn’t fun.

And as for me–I’m overwhelmed, I can’t really check my email as I’d like, it’s a roulette system that hits my dopamine centers and keeps me coming back like a twisted obsession–a haystack of spam, where occasionally a needle appears. Makes you open your mailbox compulsively… I mean how different is that from the social media everyone is complaining about?

We hope technology can make things better, not worse–email seems to be about the same. Email like traditional mail to me shows us the excesses and inefficiencies of our system, email like most digital ads today ae about complete absorption. Once a person is completely enveloped with entry points to purchase, sign up, and pre-order eventually one of those will go through, and even if it's only 1 or 2% it makes the whole system viable.

Tagged: Design · Tech