By Steve Outing
My name’s Steve and I am an e-mail addict. … My favored e-mail provider is Google’s Gmail; I’ve gone through a bunch of e-mail solutions over the years, from Pine to Eudora to Outlook to Nelson E-mail Organizer to corporate e-mail systems (ugh!), and Gmail is by far the best.
Gmail went down for a while this afternoon. I don’t know, maybe it was offline for a half hour, maybe more. But it felt like an eternity. My workday revolves so tightly around my e-mail inbox that I feel totally cut off (even a bit, I must admit, depressed) when it’s not available.
With that frame of reference, I just can’t imagine going on an e-mail fast for a week — which is what Clyde Bentley, a University of Missouri journalism professor and citizen-journalism guru, did recently. He’s documented his experience on a blog devoted to the fast. Clyde, you’re a braver man than me.
(Actually, I sorta-almost went without e-mail for a week last fall during a family trip to New Zealand. But we checked in at least twice at Internet cafes. )