16 May 2018

Using email like chat

Many people prefer using a messaging app for chats and email for a formal, letter-like communication. Certain people insist on always starting an email with a greeting like "Dear x", "Hi" or "Hello". It doesn't necessarily have to be that way.

If we rigorously stuck to tradition, we would be writing on cave walls and living in the jungle. There's nothing wrong with introducing change. There's nothing wrong in reducing the degree of formality to make someone feel comfortable or to make technology more cordial and usable.

If you are someone who does not like using invasive smartphone apps and are in a bit of a hurry to start/continue a conversation in a chat messenger, feel free to use email. Many modern email clients support the "email conversation" format, so it's easy to follow the conversation even if multiple people are in the conversation. It's easy to add attachments, include/exclude people, use highlighting and make use of all the other functionalities that an email offers.
Given that there are smartphone apps for email, you can even get your updates in the same way you'd get it from a messaging app.

When you are having a conversation with someone in the same way that you'd want to converse on a messaging app, go ahead and skip the formalities of email. Use email like a messaging app.
When using email for formal communication, use the standard letter-writing style and use all necessary formalities.

Let's keep technology flexible and make it comfortable for everyone. It's like how the heads of Google spoke about their choice to wear t-shirts instead of suits; they said "You don't have to wear a suit to be serious".

No comments: