June 8th 2011 sees the 40th birthday of the first email ever sent.
Apparently containing the exciting message “QWERTYUIOP”, it was sent from one computer in Massachusetts to another one right next to it.
On average each person now sends an average of 24 emails a day and 42% of people haven’t sent a handwritten letter in the last 6 months according to a recent poll by YouGov on behalf of Sky Broadband.
Most of us would agree that we would be lost without email and the convenience that it provides – and the downside of spam is well known and well discussed.
What about BACN? (pronounced BACON) – it’s a bit like spam, only nicer to deal with.
BACN is defined as ‘email that you want to read, but not now’ – so all those newsletters you signed up to, alerts from Twitter, updates from your online bank – they’re all BACN.
So do you unsubscribe? or filter them into separate folders that you check, supposedly at your leisure but actually very rarely?
Some well known bloggers are recommending going on an email diet or only reading email twice a day and using an auto-responder to warn people of this fact. The distraction factor of constantly checking and responding to email takes its toll on our productivity and sometimes on our mental health too, as we check our email-enabled mobile or handheld devices which accompany us everywhere, even to bed.
So – do you feel able to take on the email diet? if so, search on Google for a wealth of suggestions oras a starting point.
By the way, history doesn’t record whether “QWERTYUIOP” received a reply….
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By Carl Buckley