From NewsScan comes this odd report:

People's anxieties and fears over e-mail etiquette have given rise to a new term: pre- and post-mail tension (PPMT). A major problem is that as many as half of all e-mail users fail to properly understand all the nuances of personal messages, and blame the resulting confusion for arguments and even relationship break-ups. "E-mail is a great way to make contact with people and maybe develop a romance. The problem of PPMT we have revealed by these statistics is caused not by e-mail itself, but how people let their anticipation and expectation get the better of them," says Helen Petrie, professor of human computer interaction at London's City University. A survey by Yahoo! Mail showed that people can become obsessed with "inbox expectations" -- constantly checking their e-mail inbox to see if a message has been answered. Sixty-four percent of respondents in that survey reported problems concentrating at work if they were waiting for a reply to a specific e-mail, reinforcing the impression that e-mail is contributing to workplace "cyber-slacking."

Read more about it in This ZDNet story.

I'll never be amazed by the the strange ways in which people react to technology.

Posted by jzawodn at April 21, 2003 09:53 AM

Reader Comments
# john said:

In general I am immune to this, except for when I put a read receipt on something that gets read within a few minutes and then not responded to even though I asked for something in particular that should have been something simple. I hate that.

on April 21, 2003 12:52 PM
# Joe Grossberg said:

"the strange ways in which people react to technology"

What parts did you think it were strange?

I've definitely wished I had an "undo email" button and have repeatedly checked for new mail.

on April 21, 2003 02:02 PM
# Jon said: checks my mail constantly and I get alerted when I receive a non-spam via a beep. Not bad. I'm on the computer a lot so it works out.

As for understanding... Some people have no idea that you can't connotate implied tone from a message without help. I'm big on the use of words inside of double *'s to connotate feeling such as:

**shouts** or **hate**

It works for me, although I do only use it on personal correspondence.

on April 21, 2003 04:03 PM
# Dan Isaacs said:


Must put that on my business card: "Cyber-Slacker". Can't think of a better description for me. Well, I can, but Derek's more deserving of "Asshole".

on April 21, 2003 05:37 PM
# Fred Hurb said:

Yes the email is the leader in communications now , and this technology innovation has its pluses and mimeses

on September 29, 2003 10:48 AM
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. My current, past, or previous employers are not responsible for what I write here, the comments left by others, or the photos I may share. If you have questions, please contact me. Also, I am not a journalist or reporter. Don't "pitch" me.


Privacy: I do not share or publish the email addresses or IP addresses of anyone posting a comment here without consent. However, I do reserve the right to remove comments that are spammy, off-topic, or otherwise unsuitable based on my comment policy. In a few cases, I may leave spammy comments but remove any URLs they contain.