Am I the Only One Annoyed by Group Emails?

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Am I the only one annoyed by group emails?

Just as there are appropriate times for someone to stand at the head of a table, wait for silence, and make an announcement for all to hear, there are times for emails (or texts) to be sent to groups of people. But most of our lives don’t require that kind of drama—especially the time we spend in an office. Why do we do it?

Like so many parts of our digital lives, the speed at which we can do something is swift, and the cost to us is often nil. That’s part of the problem.

More often, I think it’s because we are not respectful enough of other people’s time.

Research suggests that when we’re focused, an interruption such as a group email that doesn’t directly relate to us makes us lose an average of 11 minutes as we regain our focus. That would be problem enough, but  unless people are careful to reply only to the original sender, everyone gets all of the responses. And just when you think it’s finally over, Tricia in marketing gets back from her honeymoon and restarts the process by responding to the original group email.

Might I suggest a simple solution? Before sending or replying to an email, take a quick look at the address list and make sure everyone you’re about to send it to will welcome it.

I know this isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but if we all do our part, the global irritation index will certainly decline.

About the Author

Dean Heetderks is co-director of Ministry Support Services of the CRC and art director of The Banner. Wondering about any part of the digital side of your life? Tell him about it at dean.heetderks@gmail.com

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