3rd of 7 Reasons Why Email On Your Smartphone Might Not Be So Smart After All

Reason #3: A smartphone is the wrong tool for email

Email was designed as an asynchronous form of communication but smartphones tend to be used as a synchronous tool.

As a written, digital medium, email is often slower to fully and effectively communicate a message compared with a verbal conversation (phone or face-to-face). Therefore, email shouldn’t be used for time-sensitive or urgent messages.

By their nature, these sort of ‘urgent’ messages also need great clarity – something that is very hard to achieve with email and especially via a smartphone when the message is received ‘on the go’, often as an interruption and with little time for clarity of thinking.

If the message is relatively simple, short and/or time sensitive, a text or SMS message is a better option for a smartphone than email.

That’s why one of the findings from the Royal Commission into the tragic bushfires in Victoria 2009 was that bushfire alerts are to be sent out by SMS rather than email – we are much more likely to have a mobile phone with us at such times than to be in front of a computer looking at email.

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