It’s no secret that we live in a world of instant gratification, where communication constantly evolves. These days, people tend to communicate via text messages, social media, phone calls, video chats, and DMs. With all these options at our disposal, it might seem strange that I still prefer email as my primary means of communication. But believe me when I say I’ve thought deeply about this (and even prayed about it!), and there are many reasons why I like it best.
First and foremost, emails are more thoughtful and intentional. Text messages can be sent quickly, and thoughts can be abbreviated or incomplete. Social media is filled with distractions and interruptions. Phone calls are great but not always possible, and oftentimes don’t allow for the same level of reflection that emails do. Conversely, email allows me to pause, reflect, and compose my thoughts before sending them off. It also allows for more thorough and detailed communication with fewer misunderstandings.
Secondly, email communication leaves a paper trail. When I want to reference an email from someone or send a reminder to someone about a previous conversation, I can always go back and look it up. I usually need that trail of communication because I am in several conversations simultaneously. Looking back and seeing what we said and agreed upon is helpful. Context is king! Email provides that; I cannot say the same for text messages, which can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of endless notifications. This is especially important when communicating with clients, coworkers, or vendors. It’s much easier to keep track of deadlines, agreements, and transactions when they can be referenced later.
Thirdly, I find that emails foster more meaningful relationships, particularly when it comes to expressing gratitude or appreciation towards others. Sending an email after meeting someone for the first time or thanking someone for their hard work is a great way to keep the lines of communication open and build a lasting bond. Plus, emails are a great way to maintain communication with people I may not have a phone number or close relationship with.
Fourthly, emails offer a sense of security and professionalism. Anything that gets written down leaves a permanent record of the communication that took place, which makes it harder for people to renege on agreements or promises down the line—unlike social media, text messages, and especially things like Snapchat. And since emails have a more formal tone, they create an atmosphere of professionalism that isn’t always possible to achieve with other modes of communication. I find this to be helpful in living a life “above reproach” as a pastor and elder (1 Timothy 3:2; Hebrews 13:7; 1 Peter 5:3).
Fifth, I have two wonderful assistants who help manage my inbox. By keeping things in my email, they can ensure people are getting timely responses. They also keep my communication accountable and above reproach. They are confidential and never speak of anything they see in my inbox to anyone but me or each other. At the same time, they allow me to ensure that my “yes is yes,” and my “no is no” when I make a commitment (Matthew 5:37). It can be easy for me to write in a text message that I will do something and then forget about it. But if it is in my inbox, I have two others helping me get my commitments across the finish line.
Finally, I find that emails are great for setting boundaries and achieving balance. By choosing to communicate via email, I can dictate when and where to address the issue. This helps me prioritize and delegate my time effectively, ensuring I can better balance my personal and professional lives. It also eliminates the temptation to constantly check my phone or social media accounts for new messages. When I am at home with my family, I want to be all there! I can be more present as a father and husband by keeping my communication in my email inbox.
So there you have it—my attempt to explain why I prefer email over text messages, social media, phone calls, video chats, or other forms of communication. While everyone has their preferred method of conversing with others, reflecting on alternative means of communication can reveal hidden gems we have never considered before. Ultimately, I suggest giving email a chance because you might be surprised by how effectively it can help streamline, enrich, and simplify your life.