Manage Virtual Communications
There’s no shame in self control
By Ted Byrne
Date Published: 10/1/2016

I read about an app the other day that reads texts and email aloud. Hmmm … I thought we already had something just like that. Wasn’t it called a telephone? But change has many of us going last to the phone app on our smartphones. Change is the mother’s milk of nostalgia. 

Which brings me to poor Eddie-the Executive. Once upon a time (he’s in his late fifties), he began his work-day laboring through a mound of letters and memos piled atop his inbox. Any of you old enough to remember paper and the tyranny of the in-box? And then, before Eddie was tethered to a cell phone, came voice messaging and his in-box overflow was capped by a lineup of morning recordings. 

Faxes were the next things plopped atop Eddie’s morning traffic. Then along came email on the desktop computer. The paper piles went away, replaced by email and electronic faxes. But since virtual correspondents could Cc almost everything they received, Eddy found himself on the mail lists of people who forwarded every communication whether or not it was relevant to him. Cell phones came next, replacing the early morning in-box with 24/7 waves of calls at all hours of the day and week. 

Add electronic spam and most executives like Eddie began plowing through hundreds of letters daily, many with long attachments. And then came texting which was not only instantly intrusive but which came with the expectation of instant response. 

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