if you are a facebook user like me, take a good look at your email inbox.
in mine, i noticed five alerts from facebook, a few twitter follower notices. couple of alerts from mailing list subscriptions, and a few bills and account notices, and a few notices about content from specific sites i like to go frequently to.
apart from some group subscription related to my alum group, nothing is what my inbox used to be “back in the day”. it’s now filled with stuff that’s important, but not really personal.
in fact, most of the interactions that i have on person-to-person basis with people i know now happen on Facebook. i guess facebook has successfully usurped the role of email as the “new letter”.
most of the person-to-person interactions aren’t confidential. yet email erected this wall of confidentiality that was probably coming in the way of self-expression. see, email has a high bar of relevancy. you message needs to ‘earn’ it’s status as a confidential and important communication to the recipient. most messages don’t and people end up using FB because it’s up to the recipient to freely ignore the message, and it’s not really addressed to any particular individual in the first place. free self expression and no strings attached.
facebook made this model of full broadcast and selective-pickup at each message level work beautifully to allow the sender of the message to freely express themselves.
secondly, managing my contact list has become a lot more important. and lets face it, inputting and updating the info of everyone in your social & professional circuit is still very very tedious. this list of your connections where keeping you informed of their info is their problem, has made communication a lot fruitful. my contact can now send me a message even if they really don’t know my contact info.
i used to have 2 email ids: one for personal mail (yahoo) and one for mailing list (gmail). now it’s a three tier – one for personal social communication that i feel compelled to read, one for important mail that don’t want to read, but i have to, and one for junk that i still would like to read someday, but most of the times, i don’t.