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Email - before and after smart phones

  1. Nov 6, 2014 #1

    Stephen Tashi

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    I communicate by email with several people who have begun to use smart phones. I noticed a big change in email after they got the smart phone. Their email became less reliable. They say they sent email that I didn't receive. They say they didn't get emails that I sent. I wonder if there's a technological explanation for this or whether its just psychology - increased forgetfulness or making mistakes using the smart phone interface. (Perhaps they more often use the website interfaces at places like gmail rather than using email programs like Outlook local to their machine.)

    After they get the smart phone, they seem to overlook or forget things things I've written in emails they are replying to. I wonder if this is because it's harder to read the quotation of my email that's embedded in theirs. Or perhaps they are less iikely to include the quotation. I don't have a smart phone yet. Maybe I have to get one to appreciate the difficulties.
     
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  3. Nov 7, 2014 #2

    Ryan_m_b

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    I've never experienced these problems and everyone I know uses a smartphone. Are the people you talk to in particular not very good at adapting to new technology?
     
  4. Nov 7, 2014 #3

    Stephen Tashi

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    Maybe I'm not adapting to new technology. Perhaps they expect me to send and receive text messages by phone - which I don't care to do.
     
  5. Nov 7, 2014 #4

    Ryan_m_b

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    Why don't you ask the people you talk to? I doubt you're going to get any answers here beyond people's own experiences. I've found it much easier and quicker to get replies from people that use smartphones because the emails go straight to their phone.
     
  6. Nov 7, 2014 #5

    Mark44

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    Call me a Luddite, but I'm with you here. I have been typing using a standard keyboard for many, many years. IMO, changing from using all ten fingers on a large keyboard, to typing using two thumbs seems to be a step in the wrong direction.

    I'm considering buying a De Lorme satellite communication device, for when I'm on backpacking trips way beyond regular cell coverage. That device can be used to send canned messages like "I'm OK" or "I need help" along with your GPS coordinates, or you can (laboriously) key in text messages. But for regular everyday use, I choose not to do text messaging.
     
  7. Nov 7, 2014 #6

    lisab

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    I can't speak to the issue of messages not getting through, that seems like a technical question. It does happen to me on occasion.

    But I agree messages sent from a smart phone have significantly less information density than those sent from a keyboard. Perhaps it's the small keypad - which I find frustratingly difficult to use! Or perhaps it's that people tend to use smart phones when they're "on the move", and despite what we *want* to believe, human brains really aren't good at multitasking.

    One thing I've learned: keep messages as short as possible. One question per message seems to be the limit for many people these days. The more questions you ask in a message, the more likely it will be ignored or the response will be nonsense.
     
  8. Nov 7, 2014 #7
    I think it might have something to do with people's memory becoming worse. I read something interesting about how technology making everything immediately accessible could be making us lose our ability to remember things.
    When, for example, you had to find a dictionary to look up a word, there was an impetus to remember what that word means; you didn't want to have to find a dictionary and search through the pages again to find it. Now that we can just type the word into a website, I find myself looking up a lot of the same words over and over again.
     
  9. Nov 7, 2014 #8

    symbolipoint

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    I wish I could click the LIKE link to register LIKEing three times for this message.
     
  10. Nov 7, 2014 #9

    DaveC426913

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    I can describe a real phenom that happens to me. I often check my messages at times when it is inconvenient to do justice to a reply, so I don't. Then, when I get home, there's little point in going over a message I've already received, so the actual reply just slips though the cracks.
     
  11. Nov 7, 2014 #10

    Evo

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    I don't care to reply to messages by phone, so I don't. People can e-mail me if they expect a response. It's respect. You shouldn't expect an answer on a phone unless the person you are contacting has agreed that it is acceptable to them.

    I've instructed my kids to e-mail me photos, don't send them to me on my phone, it's a hassle and they are too small.
     
  12. Nov 8, 2014 #11

    Mark44

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    Amen to that, Evo. I can look at digital images on a 27" monitor, or if that's not big enough, I can plug a zip drive into my much larger TV and see them.

    I don't see the point in looking at multi-megapixel images on a screen that's 4 or 5 inches wide.
     
  13. Nov 9, 2014 #12
    I agree completely. I've recently got me my first smartphone, and I find it very frustrating to type (I am a quite fast typer on normal keyboards, but on touchscreens I almost grind to a halt). Actually, what do we expect? If the individual keys and key spacings are smaller than our fingertips, there will be of course be problems :D. My phone supports voice input, which could have been quite nice if it worked better than it actually does (it's regretfully also frustrating, at least on my phone).

    I think so too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
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