On Reducing Email: Do You Really Need to Reply?

Me Too!

Or as the geekier folks often write it:

<AOL>
me too!
</AOL>

I really don’t know what causes it, but for some reason email seems to bring out the “me too” in many people.

You know what I mean: you’ll have a discussion – either a one-on-one correspondence, or more commonly, an exchange on a mailing list – and at its close or at some other juncture, you’ll get a completely content-free email (or collection of emails) from some of the participants.

Perhaps we feel the need to let people know we’re listening. Perhaps it’s the email equivalent of an head nod. The problem is, as I said, it’s otherwise completely content free. As a result, unlike an actual head nod, it’s difficult to ignore. Someone must download it, read it, determine its value (if any), and dispose of it.

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