Could You Quit Email?

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  Jason Hibbets 7 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #132050

    Here at CityCamp Raleigh, Michael Tiemann, VP of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat, Inc., as well as president of the Open Source Initiative, is leading The Business Perspective discussion…and he shared an anecdote of a UNC professor who announced that as of May 1, he was quitting email. Here’s an excerpt from the story:

    There are a number of ways to contact Paul Jones. You can chat with him via his blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and a host of other online tools. Email, however, is no longer one of them.

    Jones, a clinical associate professor in the School of Information and Library Science and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, told attendees at UNC’s BarCamp that he’s abandoned email — an antiquated application whose time is up, tech insiders say.

    “I spent 30 years investing in email,” Jones said. “The undergrads I teach use everything but email. Journalists use Twitter. You can use anything else to get in touch with me — text messages, AIM, G-chat, Facebook, Facebook chat … but I was investing too much into email and getting little back.”

    So it’s an interesting question for each of us:

    Could you quit email?

  • #132086

    Jason Hibbets

    Here’s the interview:

    #noemail interview: Paul Jones abandons his inbox (QnA) #ibiblio #opensource

  • #132084

    Steve Ressler

    No way. Still the hub of my activity – including as way I find out about social media – GovLoop comments, Twitter DMs and Facebook comments.

    Although I wish I’d find a way to get less email…

  • #132082

    Marco Morales

    I most likely could. The art of letter writing has fallen by the wayside now that all of us are empowered by this cyber capability communication forum. It still costs about 42 cents to mail a letter so i think that unless people feel really compelled to write a check and mail it to its destination (instead of paying for a service via online routes), we’ll continue seeing a variety of junk mail in our mail boxes. Hard copy mail has taken a hit just like newspapers across the world – now – what would we do if our mainframe infrastructures that support millions of computers and I-phones in cyberspace were hit by an electro-magnetic pulse nuclear device?

  • #132080

    I couldn’t quit it, but what I REALLY need to do is limit my time in email…feels like I live there.

  • #132078

    Stephanie Slade

    There’s a small amount of irony in his saying you can get in touch with him via g-chat, isn’t there?

  • #132076

    Quitting email would be dangerous to me. I could personally quite facebook and maybe twitter quicker than email.

  • #132074

    Ed Albetski

    The problem with a lot of the other protocols is that you have to be online. Email will wait in your inbox til you read it. And you can answer in your own time. Sometimes I resent the assumption that I’m going to answer folks instantly. Sometimes we have more important things to do and tweeting and chatting don’t make the priority cut.

    If a friend is visiting I turn off my phone. I’m not going to insult my friend by fiddling with my phone instead of paying attention to the conversation right in front of me. Email at least provides that distance where we can deal with it at arm’s length if we wish to.

  • #132072

    Stephen Peteritas

    I’m being idealistic here but I think I could. Personally the more connected I get the more I fantasize about dropping off the map for periods of time. Something tells me that me quitting e-mail would be like most smokers quitting cigs, I could quit for weeks and even months but once I saw one e-mail I’d be back devouring a pack a day.

  • #132070

    Alicia Mazzara

    No way. I feel like it’s just expected that people are easily accessible over email for work or personal life. Would it be nice to give up email? Yes. I regularly feel overwhelmed but also addicted to it.

  • #132068

    Candace Riddle

    I still use e-mail quite a bit. Sometimes it becomes a bit wild when trying to coordinate meeting times between more than 2 people…in that case I would rather just use some cool free ware like a Doodle Poll (

    Otherwise, I use emails for things that encompass the CYA portions of life…and by CYA I mean Cover Your A… It is a great way to archive things that need to be archived, forward official documents quickly at little to no cost, etc. But user beware…E-mails…and I mean ALL e-mails are considered discoverable in a court of law. So even if you’re having an informal conversation with a colleague, know that if requested those emails could be brought into a court.

    I wonder if the same is true for FB, Twitter, and the likes? Not real sure. Which poses a question….do you use e-mail only for the more formal, CYA, aspects of business to reduce liability…and leave the informal stuff to the other media outlets?

  • #132066

    GovLab uses an internal collaboration tool, Yammer, to conduct all day-to-day business. Its kinda like Facebook, but activity is conducted in a private network. Earlier this year we launched a 1-week pilot program to test if we could cut out email and just use Yammer; we recognized the value instantly, and after two months, over 1,700 group messages had been posted, which is 1,700 emails that never were in my inbox!

    I think that NASA, GSA, and Census Bureau are some Federal agencies have been using Yammer as well.

  • #132064

    Jesse Wilkins

    *I* could quit email, yes. People who email me in many instances haven’t moved onto social tools, so I will not be deleting my inbox(es) any time soon. But I think there’s a significant paradigm shift coming as the workforce is increasingly comprised of those that don’t use email – my 23-yo brother checks email maybe once a week but he’s available constantly via SMS, Facebook, and some other social networks.

  • #132062

    Laura Bennett

    Yes, I can quit email. How about you?

    I preferring chatting online or cell.

  • #132060

    Chris Poirier

    I, like may others, probably COULD give it up..but use it to sort all of my incoming social media comments, blogs, etc. It would be difficult to decouple them as there is currently no other “one-stop-shop” for viewing social media threads from multiple social media tools.

  • #132058

    Steve Ressler

    I was thinking about trying this – it puts limit of email to 500 characters.

  • #132056


    I could not quit email right now. I like it and it serves my purposes. I don’t know enough about other social media and have questions about security, trust, etc.

  • #132054

    Sterling Whitehead

    I could quit email, but I’d be far more unproductive. Like Steve, it serves as my hub of communications. I don’t know of any other tool that can replace email in terms of effectiveness and efficiency when used properly like checking it only once or twice at day at announced times.

  • #132052

    Jason Hibbets


    I find this trend happening with myself. My home email, which I used to check multiple times a day, I might check it once a day now–if I feel like dealing with it. I too and using Twitter, SMS, and Facebook and my main and more instant forms for communications.


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