James Martin had a charming piece in America (May 8) on why he doesnt have e-mail, or even a computer. No Luddite he; its simply that he developed a bad case of tendinitis from using his computer too much. In every upset, its said, there can be an asset, and Martins cup runneth over with assets. The computer-free Martin now handwrites his letters, and guess what? people express appreciation for the personal touch. Martin continues: I dont have to slog through garbage E-mail messages and his pen never crashes. Do I fret about toting around a laptop to keep up with my date book? No. And the insidious Melissa virus that infected computers worldwide? Hey, no sweat . Bring on Y2K. My writing pad and I are ready. (Too bad people dont get tendinitis from watching television!)
We hear of people spending an hour or two each day wading through and responding to their e-mail messages. The Bruderhof, which runs the Plough Publishing House and puts out The Plough quarterly, reports (in The Plough, Autumn 1998) that, after three years, it has junked its e-mail system entirely. Why? Because it didnt bring new energy but new fatigue. Instead of enhancing productivity, it mostly paralyzed their operation.
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