If You Are Too Busy To Reply to A Message, Then You are Sending a Message

Alan Levine, Jul 03, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Alan Levine writes, reasonably, "if you are such a freaking big shot that you cannot reply to someone’s message, especially if you have had prior ones, well you are saying, 'I am important… and you are not.'" Now I am the last person to say that I am important, but as of right now (I checked) I have 167 items, 3 unread, in my NRC email, and 775 items, 18 unread, in my downes.ca unread - and that's after getting rid of most of the automated emails. A lot of this email is from lists and alerts I use to keep myself informed. But the rest of it is personal communication, and believe me, I think it's all important. That's why it's still in my inbox. I reply (I think) to every personal message; if I haven't replied in a week or so it's OK to send me a follow-up (your message is probably stalled in the 400s). So I don't think Alan Levine is being totally fair here; sometimes your work binds you to email in a way that makes keeping up difficult.

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