…I turn on my computer, I wait impatiently as it boots up. I go on line, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You’ve got mail. I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart. I have mail… From you.
Before there was digital post there were letters, typically inked by pen and scripted without aid of an auto-speller or software thesaurus. If you were to send something you would take your time, plan, scrutinise, write. With the advent of the personal computer everyone could send a letter blurting out their thoughts and then arranging them to suit whoever it was they were writing. The first steps of personality lost in aid of formality.
When electronic mail became mainstream I’m sure the initial messages were of substance, few people had computers and a minority of them had an account to send to so what you did send was important to them or to you as mail was a rare and special thing.
Now everyone gets at least 3 figures of messages a day, 90% being spam, half a dozen reminders from some other area of the web and a personal mail sent to you by another person. And what format does that most important last piece of mail take? Three sentences? Two? E-mail has become so common place that too infrequently does anything with magnetic content come through.
If you are going to compose a personal communiqué make it a worthwhile occasion for the recipient, make intimate anecdotes, be detailed on trivial occurrences, run your mind thoroughly over the topic without fear of wasting time because every word can lighten a persons day.