I used to email people constantly. Now, I have a hard time responding to personal email. Work is just as bad. I recently wondered if it was only me that was "over" the email craze. My answer came in the form of a new survey by Sendmail, Inc.

According to the results of the survey, 2 in 3 people cannot stand work email. Wow! That's pretty big. So why don't we like email? I know why I don't. I am on several group lists and the messages I get don't have anything to do with me directly. For every 10 emails I get, I delete 9!

What did the survey come up with as the reasons why workers don't like email?

1.  They get too many reply-all messages.

2.  The messages are confusing or vague.

3.  They get too MUCH email.

4.  The messages are too long.

5.  They contain stuff that's not related to work.

6.  People use bad grammar.

7.  People are rude.

8.  The messages have no personality.

I have to say that rudeness is my number 2. People tend to be more negative and accusatory in emails. Another thing that bothers me is inappropriate use of email, like when the matter should be addressed one-on-one. Example: if you know who broke a rule deal with them directly instead of sending out an email to all staff scolding everyone. This is where an email is not appropriate, direct contact is.

Sending email has its problems as well. I don't send many at all, but I completely agree with all the items on this list.

1.  People don't reply.

2.  People misinterpret the message.

3.  Replies take too long.

4.  Replies are too short or careless.

5.  People argue or ask for more details in their reply.

6.  People play "grammar police" and correct mistakes.

One of the biggest dangers of email, since intent is not perfectly clear, is misinterpretation. Words have to be chosen very carefully, but more times than not they aren't.

Maybe this survey is awake up call that we need more direct interaction and less email.