, Research Paper
J E-Mail or Snail Mail? L
Remember those letters you used to write to your grandmother? Oh, who am I kidding, if you are under twenty, chances are you have never even written a letter. A tidal wave has emerged from beneath and grabbed us by a storm. It’s called an E-mail. E-mail is a word that has echoed in our society for the past several years. Some of us are very depended on this so-called “E-mail” but most of us are as lost as the lost city of Atlantis. The Internet is a mystery that has boggled the minds of many but to some it’s a simple tool used to enhance their lives. The “Net” is the nickname for the Internet, to some the word “Net” brings simple pleasure and to others it bring horror and deception. E-mail is the main component of the net; some call it EMS, which stands for electronic message system. For the user of E-mail that is merely a technical term for something simple, but for the non-users it screams the horror of a technology advance that is sweeping the world.
People who fear this kind of advancement are people who fear change overall, E-mail in today’s world is not an accessory but it’s a necessity. Our ever-growing business world demands people to communicate faster and cheaper. E-mail provides instant communication at a fraction of cost compared to talking on the phone or video conferencing. It gives people to go portable which in today’s business world is a necessity; people can E-mail each other with computers that are smaller than their hands and its much more convenient than actually going to a post office and mailing a letter. With some much competition, in some cases it’s cheaper to buy an E-mailing device then to run to the post office and we all know E-mail is a whole lot quicker. With so many amazing things said there are some things that can be said about E-mail that are not very righteous. Those things are simple but cause fear of the unknown, even though these things are avoidable; we live in a society where certain people will never try something new. These people whom I like to call my parents. Not to embarrass them or anything but they are the most narrow minded people I have ever come into contact with, they bring out everything that is wrong with the so-called the “Digital Revolution”. I just spend a page describing what’s good about E-mail, now I must tell you the bad.
People like my parents have this preset image in their minds that E-mail is too expensive, I can almost be certain in saying that they are not the only ones. Others have said the same thing and have brought out other negative aspects of E-mail. Here is the list: Its only for business use, no privacy, no security, no humane touch or feel. These are old-fashioned beliefs that are very strong and send a strong, but a truthful message to everybody. I have to agree that E-mail takes out the romance in a long distance relationship. Words are still words but it seems they are not yours, saying, “I miss you” is the same but it just doesn’t feel the same, the excitement factor, thrill of waiting days before getting a letter is excruciating to some but to a true romantic, like yours truly, is exhilarating. E-mail is resurgence but for some it’s a way to hide your true feelings. Maybe it is simply telling the truth about how lazy our society is getting these days. For whatever reason, the good, the bad, it seems E-mail is here to stay so we might as well get used to it. E-mail is another example telling us that we are losing simple interaction such as talking or touching another person, as we progress toward the twentieth century, more we try to bond with each other, we continue to separate ourselves from each other.
We are barricading ourselves into a manmade entrapment leading to loss of a simple conversation with a love one. The question remains, can E-mail give you the same support a simple kiss or perhaps a hug will give. E-mail is nothing but merely a substitute, its like a new toy you got for Christmas when you were a kid, you had fun with it for a week but soon you went back to the same stuff toy you had since you were baby. Why? Maybe because it provided you with an unseen protection or maybe the new toy was just an infatuation that you needed to have but once you realized its something you do not need, you throw it away like a piece of garbage. E-mail doesn’t provide you a sense of security and I mean that literally because once you send an E-mail, the possibility of how many people read is off the charts. If someone reads your E-mail and get information about you they can get into your life without you even knowing, they can steal your credit card accounts and most importantly they can take your personal possession away that you store in your computer. Telling a businessman not to use E-mail is like telling Romeo to stay away from Juliet, it’s a need, and it is like a drug that causes pure addiction. Addiction of power or a fake sense of security, for whatever the reason he chooses E-mail, he knows the risk but he continues to march to his own music, because he knows to stay on top he needs E-mail. Human nature makes him thriving for the top, no matter what ways he uses to get there. He risks his life saving to be on top, he has his priorities set, so I ask you what’s your priority?
The issue is simple depending on your point of view. To some people E-mail is efficient and to others its annoying. Whatever your take is its simple to say E-mail beats snail mail in efficiency but loses the personal touch. People’s fears of computer cause them to make hasty generalization about E-mail. They hate E-mail because of little things, one of them being SPAM mail. SPAM mail is bulk mail in your electronic mailbox; it is unwanted mail send to your E-mail address by someone who is advertising his or her web pages. Research has indicated that about 85% of SPAM mail contained pornographic web pages. Therefore making it easy for the kids to have access to Porn sites. But like anything on the Internet there is way to go around everything. “Free web-based e-mail accounts are perfect for setting up throwaway e-mail addresses to use in public postings, on Web site forms, or in any other place where spammers can get their paws on your info.” (PC computing 156).
SPAM mail is concern but it is something so minor that it shouldn’t scare people away from E-mail. After all there are ways to Block junk E-mail. “Spammers can’t find you if they don’t know where to look.” (PC computing 156.) Software like “MailJail” blocks SPAM from your E-mail accounts. Try doing that with regular mail, no matter what you do you will continue to get a K-mart catalog. There are other things that can be done to avoid being hit by spammers; Don’t respond to SPAM, doing that just encourages the spammers by verifying your E-mail address, stay mysterious by not creating personal profiles with your online services and lie on on-line forms.
Lying on forms, staying mysterious, does that sound like a spy movie to you? No, it is just the “Internet”. The Internet is a place popular for one thing that almost everyone
likes and that thing is Cyber Romance. Some might argue that e-mail Cyber Romance is for loser who can’t get in touch with reality while others will say its Romance none the less. I interviewed Paulene Adams, a 31-year-old freelancer, published poet, who ironically I talked to on the Internet, she told me her views on “Cyber Romance”.
Question: What are your thoughts on “Cyber Romance” and “Cyber Sex”?
Answer: Sex is an expression of love between two people, not some thrill to be had when you’re bored!
Question: Do you think it’s wrong for people to have “Cyber Romance”?
Answer: No, absolutely not but Romance does not equal sex…. sex does not equal love.. but romance is love.
Question: Do you think it is for “losers” or hopeless romantics?
Answer: It is for losers because I’m a hopeless romantic.
Question: Any other thoughts on people using E-mail for sexual pleasures?
Answer: Three words, it is gross.
She argues that using E-mail for cyber romance is just another way of technology entrapping us from sharing our feelings openly with someone else. But on the other hand there are many people who will say otherwise, for example my best friend just told me two weeks ago that he has been having a cyber romance with someone in Connecticut for the past six months. He told me that she is twenty-seven, he is twenty. But I know that my friend is no loser, so for him to support cyber romance makes it difficult for me to disregard cyber romances. After all what is reality, in our society we are trained to go to school and get a job. I am not wrong in saying that many of us are trapped in dead-end jobs, not because we want to but we have to. So is there something wrong to have a little fun in your cubicle after crunching numbers for eight hours.
E-mail is a topic that can be discussed for hours and since I don’t have time or the paper to do, I will just say there are many things wrong with E-mail but at the same time there are many things that are right about it to. So I support E-mail with a passion, we need it in our super-charged lives.
In a recent article in “Time” magazine, called THE OTHER SIDE OF EMAIL
following was said: “About 20 million Americans may be under the watchful and electronic eye of their employers, according to a survey by the International Labour Organization, a United Nations agency. Just over 40 percent of the 301 companies polled said they searched employee email; 28 percent said they looked at network mail and 15 percent said they eavesdrop on voice mail.” (Time. http://cgi.pathfinder.com/t ime/daily/0,2960,13 44,00.html).
So its true using E-mail at work is not a good idea. That shouldn’t be one of the reasons for people to fear E-mail. What do you expect? At any job you should know that you are compromising your freedom. Employers have the right to know what you are doing on their time. There are times where you can use E-mail, like in the privacy of your own home, by taking some precautions; you can assure yourself a beautiful and non-hostile E-mail environment. At work it is different the employers wants to make sure that E-mail’s are not passing out sensitive information. Lot of people have been arrested for
doing “Insider’s trading”. Which means a person who has access to company’s financial situation can either make investments knowing the outcome. These people use E-mail to tell others of such illegal activities. So more power to the employer, in order to save their business they must take steps to assure themselves of a safe environment.
One other problem that people have argued is caused by E-mail is wastage of paper. People thought E-mail would cut down on paper usage, but it has not. People are writing more, communicating more, doing it more hurriedly and printing it all out. Here are some of the ramifications, good and bad:
- Much more paper wasted than ever before.
- More frequent communication than before
- People making acquaintances and friends in other cities through ‘chat’ and able to stay in touch more easily via email.
E-mail is a great and inexpensive way to keep in touch and learn and share things. I love E-mail, I use it because it’s a good way to introduce a product. I advertise my web pages using E-mail. Even though I can, I don’t access E-mail through work. I believe its neither the time or the place.
Romance is a hard thing to talk about but if I know the person, I can’t think of a better way to communicate with them. For example, if I had a girlfriend and that is a big “if” but for the sake of the argument lets just say I do and she moves away to Topeka, Kansas. I can either call her, wasting money, write her, wasting time, or E-mail her, doing absolutely nothing. Love is an expression of emotion that can be expressed by anything; you fall in love with the person, not with their face. You can express emotions using E-mail, writing a letter is the same thing. True romance can not be compromised
but true romance can be tweaked a little to fit your needs. As the old saying goes, “If she loves you she will come back no matter what you did”. I will not be offended if girl sends me E-mail. After all if you take out the “E” in E-mail you get mail. E-mail is a tool, which can take us to places we never dreamed of going. I love E-mail and will love it forever; it makes my life easy. I don’t have the time to write a letter to my relatives, but I have the time to E-mail them. While writing this paper I E-mailed two of my cousins in India and my aunt in South Carolina. E-mail has stormed into my life and changed it for the better as for “Cyber romance”; I will leave that to my friend. Just pour me a cup of milk with cookies, sit in front of the computer and get connected to the world. So in the end I will like to say World is a better place because of E-mail, even though the world is getting smaller.
J E-Mail or Snail Mail? L
1.) “Go Deep Undercover.” PC Computing. Nov. 1988:154-300.
2.) Adams, Paulene. Personal Interview. 17 Nov. 1998.
3.) “The other side of Email.” Editorial.Time. Online Ed. November 1998. http://cgi.pathfinder.com/time/daily/0,2960,1344,00.html