Staying in touch with my family.
Easily making plans with multiple friends.
Reaching out to potential clients.
Being able to write out what I want to say and edit it before sending.
Receiving a coupon or sale notification just when I need it.
Sending myself documents as a back-up save method.
Having the opportunity to respond when I have time, not immediately.
Becoming addicted to checking my inbox (and social media and blogs and...)
Second-guessing my wording or tone.
Contemplating how many exclamation marks are acceptable.
Realizing I'm being too wordy (gotta get to the point!)
Determining whether it's appropriate to use a emoticon.
Experiencing paranoia about the meaning of a message I received.
Feeling like I have to write back this minute.
So what do I do about these negative aspects?
I try to close my laptop, step away, and distract myself with another activity (which usually works really well). Sometimes I even check the clock to see how long I can go without checking (within reason obviously... can't abandon my work or totally leave people hanging!).
I try to remember my mantra from this post on confidence: I am who I am. Though it can apply to times when I'm taking a leap and putting myself out there, it can also relate to something as simple as emailing. Once I hit send, others can read what I say and take it or leave it, but I can't be anyone but myself. So if I want to say something a certain way, add a couple of exclamation marks, be a little verbose, or God forbid, accidentally make a typo... that's okay. That's me.
I try not to read into other people's emails (this is a tough one for me!). Everyone has a unique style, whether it be direct or drawn-out, business-like or more casual. We can't always get our message across the right way in a quick email. And as I have said before, you never know what other people are dealing with outside of your little electronic exchange. The seemingly-harsh tone carried in an email may have nothing to do with you.
Maybe these thoughts can help some of you who also experience this love-hate relationship with email... If you have other tips for overcoming the negatives, I'd love to hear them.