Thursday, November 18, 2010

The drudgery of . . . composing an email.

For those who long for the quiet days of the handwritten letter, another advent in technological "progress." The next generation, according to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (launching Facebook's "social inbox"), deems email too much of a burden:
The Facebook CEO described how he was talking to high-school students while visiting his girlfriend’s family, and they said that none of them used email because it was “too slow.”

“I said ‘what do you mean, it’s instantaneous!’ Zuckerberg recalled. “I was kind of boggled by this.” But the Facebook founder said that he realized for many users, particularly younger users, email as it exists now is “too formal” and adds a lot of weight and social friction because “you have to think of the email address, think of a subject line, write ‘love Mark at the end’” and so on. The high-school students he spoke to preferred chat because it was easier and faster, he said — in other words, it had less “cognitive load.”

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