Why do we (still) email instead of call?

This post is part of the series on Time Management in Youth Ministry. I read a post on the Harvard Business Review blog called ‘Don’t send that email. Pick up the phone‘ in which the author gave three excellent reasons for calling someone or setting up a face-to-face meeting instead of sending an email:

  1. It’s hard to get the emotional intelligence right in email
  2. Email often promotes reactive responses instead of action to move forward
  3. Email prolongs the debate, often far beyond the point of usefulness and even to the point of escalation

I fully agree with all three reasons and I can even think of a fourth: sending emails leads to receiving more emails which doesn’t help with the email overload most of us are already facing. Yet the funny thing is that even though I agree that email isn’t the best option, I still find myself emailing rather than calling or meeting face-to-face.

I think this has to do with the fact that shooting someone an email appears to takes less time, though in reality it often isn’t that quick at all. So why do I keep doing this? It seems emailing, which wasn’t even done on a widespread scale till just a decade ago, has become a very persistent habit that’s limiting my productivity, yet that’s hard to break.

Do you recognize this issue? Why do you email instead of call?

Why do you email instead of call?

Comments

  1. says

    I’m a caller. I hate conversations via email or text for all the reasons listed in this post. I do have to interact with people who prefer email or texting. I have a personal limit of 2 messages, and then I call to continue and hopefully conclude the conversation.

    • Rachel says

      Thanks for stopping by Joel! I think your ‘rule’ of 2 messages is excellent, it’s a great and practical way of preventing emails to get out of hand. Thanks for that tip!

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