Why we hate using email but love sending texts

Working At A Starbucks Coffee Shop in Connecticut

They both allow us to stay in touch, but while email often attracts ire, text messaging is more popular than ever. Is the way we choose to communicate saying more than we might think?

Around 15 years ago, I was working at my part-time job at an electronics store at the mall. One of my colleagues asked me if I “use text messages.”

“I’m addicted,” she said wide-eyed. “They’re so much fun.”

At that time, most people were still using old feature phones with LED screens and plastic keypads. I don’t remember what the character limits were, but it was certainly fewer than a tweet, and it took about 12 years to finally type out what you wanted to say. They were slow, very expensive, and long enough to write about a quarter of a haiku. I genuinely thought it was a dumb, flash-in-the-pan gimmick that wouldn’t last long.

How wrong I was.

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Gmail can now autocomplete entire emails with a new feature called Smart Compose — here’s how to turn it on


One of the best announcements that came out of this year’s Google I/O was a new Gmail feature called Smart Compose, which can autocomplete entire emails for you.

Unlike many of the other announcements from Google I/O, Gmail Smart Compose can actually be switched on and used right now. It’s all part of the new Gmail experience that Google has been rolling out to customers.

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What is Ray Kurzweil up to at Google? Writing your emails


RAY KURZWEIL HAS invented a few things in his time. In his teens, he built a computer that composed classical music, which won him an audience with President Lyndon B. Johnson. In his 20s, he pioneered software that could digitize printed text, and in his 30s he cofounded a synthesizer company with Stevie Wonder. More recently, he’s known for popularizing the idea of the singularity—a moment sometime in the future when superintelligent machines transform humanity—and making optimistic predictions about immortality. For now, though, Kurzweil, 69, leads a team of about 35 people at Google whose code helps you write emails.

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Mobility trend leaves UK workers overworked but unproductive: Study

54% said they felt obliged to work during the weekend because there is too much to do.

Office workers in the UK are so focused on managing email traffic and attending internal meetings, they struggle to find time to produce anything really meaningful, according to research released this week.



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The truth about email

What’s a normal inbox?

Everyone spends way too much time on email, and everyone has their own strategies and techniques for dealing with the deluge. Usually those techniques are a melding of Web, desktop, and mobile tools that we find least objectionable. But the tools, tips and tricks that work for one person tend to work poorly for another. Products designed to “help” often are more of a hindrance and force the adoption of new workflows that run counter to years of training.



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Taliban public relations rep accidentally leaks email list

Taliban accidentally CC-d all email addresses on their mailing list to subscribers.

This may be good to know if you’re a terrorist organization, BCC is your friend. A Taliban spokesperson’s misstep resulted in all addresses on the Afghanistani militant movement’s email list being disclosed to the public. ABC News’ Muhammad Lila reports that Qari Yousuf Ahmedi, an official representative for the movement, accidentally used CC: instead of BCC: on a mass Taliban communication. Ahmedi forwarded a press release he received from another Taliban spokesperson in a mass email; instead of moving the CCs from the previous email to BCC, they stayed intact.


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Emailing vaccines around the world

You could make a vaccine with a machine that synthesises DNA to an emailed sequence.

Craig Venter, who quietly sequenced the human genome using his own DNA, then made “synthetic life” by outfitting a gutted bacterium with homemade genes, says his next trick will be emailing biological molecules, using 3D biological printers. The move could revolutionise healthcare – and biological warfare.


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