Book Review: The Tyranny Of E-mail by John Freeman
John Freeman is not, he insists, a Luddite. An NYC-based free-lance writer with a string of impressive credits, clearly he does know how to function in the modern professional environment. But he sure is hard on e-mail. The Tyranny Of E-mail explores the history of human communication and concludes that e-mail is the greatest jump in the maximum speed of human communication since the telegraph machine. And the effect on humans, Freeman strongly argues, has been anything but benign. Many people are now literally connected to their e-mail 24/7. I was honestly amazed at the people who reported they could Not sleep if their phone was not under their pillow lest they miss a message. Freeman’s advice to those whose employment permits them to follow it is to only check e-mail twice a day. Third or forth thing (not first thing) in the morning and in the mid-late afternoon (not last thing before going home). He also recommends that those whose entire work processes are not wed to their computers have two work spaces at their desks to allow them to completely turn away from their computers from time to time. I think that my friends who work in IT, and anyone who has become overwhelmed by all the electronic communications they receive would genuinely enjoy reading The Tyranny Of E-mail, though it may be a bit too academic for a more general audience. Recommended.