Eliminating e-mail

July 14, 2011

e-mail is headache inducing, and I think a whole lot of people can attest to that. Waking up every morning, snatching my iPhone or iPad to check every e-mail I received overnight, is a miserable start to every day. Recently, however, MG Siegler wrote a piece at TechCrunch that shares my sentiments.

Email is the absolute devil. And the only way to not be corrupted is to… run away. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Those words kicked me off. I’m going to work to quit using e-mail outright, and I hope to accomplish this goal as soon as possible, and hopefully sooner. It will be hard, but I think it can be done, and this is how I’m going to do it. So, let’s get social.

e-mail is obviously, at its core, a way to communicate with others. To replace it, you need to utilise services that allow you to communicate with others. And not one service encompasses as many areas as e-mail does, so to get rid of e-mail, I need to use a combination of services. For that, I’m putting my faith in Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Facebook

Facebook is an amazing way to communicate with friends and family, and since I started using it regularly two years ago, my e-mail usage with those people have been cut drastically. While there are some things about Facebook to hate – The chat feature which needs to die in a fire – This is an easy fallback away from e-mail. And with Facebook’s foray into mobile, it’s the best way to keep in contact with people close to you wherever you are. That said, with hundreds of millions of users, I don’t believe Facebook really needed an introduction. ;-)

Twitter

Twitter is a neat network that a lot of people pretend to hate. Nevertheless, since I started using Twitter last year, my contact portfolio has grown tremendously. I’ve met some amazing people from across the world, who I wouldn’t have met if not for Twitter. And the great thing? I have no interest in e-mailing any of them. Twitter is great for general discussion, it’s extremely focused, and I cite Twitter as the best way to contact me. As with Facebook, Twitter has done a lot in the mobile space, which makes things easy if you have a smartphone. Give it a shot if you haven’t already.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the leap of faith in this scheme. Many business professionals communicate with each other via e-mail, which is a kink in my plan. Fortunately I’ve noticed a lot of business professionals create a profile on LinkedIn, and if this trend doesn’t stop, LinkedIn will be a great place for business associates to communicate. I’m just beginning to learn the ropes on this one, and I hope that at least most of the people I associate with going forward have, or will have a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is also in the mobile space, but its iPhone app stinks.

So…

If I can properly utilise Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and I streamline it into my mobile life, I think I can abandon e-mail altogether the day I finish college. My success depends on if other people continue to use these services, which is kind of a downer. But if people really want to get in contact with me, they know how.

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