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PISSING PEOPLE OFF WITH EMAIL

Nowhere is instant communication more appreciated than in the sprawling, traffic clogged layout of Los Angeles. The Internet provides those normally confined to cars and desks an efficient fantasy world of prompt exchanges and speedy developments. But I think people get too cocky with this sort of jet-setting, go-getter attitude made possible by the World Wide Web. Which is why every now and again I like to screw around with folks to remind them of the human at the other end of the network. For instance, I’ve started replying to all emails I get with an immediate message that just says “What?” Like two seconds after I receive the email. “Can you repeat that?” You’d be surprised how a simple, one word questioning of an entire message can really get someone’s gonads. If you’re lucky, they’ll be a smartass right back, and just forward a copy to you of their original message. In this situation, flip the script (java script that is) by doing the exact opposite, and keep up the josh-offs by being hyper-responsive.

People are always thanking each other for the swiftness of their replies, so why not take that timeliness one step further, and provide email senders with a sentence-by-sentence update, informing them of your progress throughout the email. “Just made it through the first sentence. Interesting stuff so far, I’m going to keep reading.” “Wow, bitchin’ vocab…” “That word looks weird spelled out,” and “Hmm, I don’t really agree with you here, but I respect your opinion.” Here and there I’d type, “huh?” and then a few seconds later, “oh…I see.” I also like to express disappointment with the length of their email by writing, “Here comes the last sentence…that’s it?” The information super highway has bestowed upon man many gifts, from the power to catalog an endless league of pornography, to cleverly deceiving people through the art of rickrolling. Surging along with torrents of infinite data is the ability to dick around in ways our ancestors never imagined. From time to time it’s our duty to do so, to remind everyone of that ghost in the machine.

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