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Can somebody call a doctor?

mailache n. When the tingly euphoria of seeing one actually has new e-mail melts into sadness and grump when one realises it's just more Check out these ho's in my highschool! spam.

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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


27 thoughts on “Can somebody call a doctor?

  1. I hear you well and truely Shauny. The only email I seem to get these days is from comments on my blog. The art of writing a personal email seems to have disappeared. When I do write someone an email, responses are few and far between.

    Blah!

  2. it’s nice to know there is a name for it.

    when you add up how much time you spend deleting all those stupid emails each day, over a year that’s hours of potential nap time down the gurgler.

  3. i’d like an innoculation against mailaise.

    if you like, i could start emailing you every day with useless trivia from the news. “cooma announces referendum on contentious sewerage road upgrade.” “temperature today absolute zero, canberrans wear parkas.” “blog vs. journal warfare erupts onto the street when canberra journaller shouts ‘i’m not a freakin’ blog, you idiot!’ in garema place.” “captain cook fountain looks like a feather, according to tuggeranong toddler.”

    hang in there, hon. (hey, we’ll be having a girly sleepover tonight, anyway. i’ll bring breakfast at tiffanys!)

  4. Scott raises an interesting point. It no longer seems to be the case that to get an email, all one has to do is to write an email.

    Perhaps it’s partly that the novelty of email has somewhat worn off. It’s become a much more ordinary thing in itself. It’s just email, just an electronic version of snailmail.

    Another possible explanation for declining email might be that as we all age, there tends to be less new stuff to write about. We settle down into mundane jobs (or whatever) after the variety of student life; what were once new experiences become things that would just make for repetitive emailing; people already know about regional, national, and cultural differences; and so on. There just seems to be less stuff to write about that hasn’t already been written or read.

    Another factor might be that as correspondents get to know each other, they have less to learn about each other, less to tell each other about themselves.

    There is also, perhaps, the fact that there are more ways of communicating on the net now. Chatty IMing things are more common (though it seems to me that much the same thing is happening there, but it could just be that I’m not a very popular person to chat to!). There are blogs, diaries and the like, with comments, too. More ways to communicate, leaving less to say in each particular medium.

    And, I suppose, the busier people are, the less time they have to spend writing emails. Especially when a lot of time can be saved by writing stuff once on a blog instead of several times to several correspondents.

    One of the things I like about email is the sense of personalness. If an email’s being sent to just one person, then there’s that special quality of it being just that person. Blogs, diaries, etc, lack that, even if they happen to be really personal and intimate in other ways.

    Anyway, I know the feeling of checking for mail, watching a few download, and finding they’re all spam. And then checking again just a few minutes (or even seconds) later, ‘just in case’ (which sometimes works, but only sometimes). You’ve summed it up very well in your definition of ‘mailache’.

    But lament not, and feed the inboxes of others instead. After all, people are even less likely to reply if they don’t get anything to reply to!

    (I’m meeting Marybeth today.)

  5. wow simon, you write lots :). i think no one gets email any more is because we all have blogs, and so you don’t need to email anyone to tell them your news, because it’s already on your site.

  6. lizz is partly right, but what about the people who dont have blogs? what’s their problem?

    The reason is more apathy than anything. We ohh and ahh when we get personal email but how many of us click on the reply button?

    We all have stories to tell but are not prepared to tell them.

    A while ago I wrote about this on my blog and at the end of the post I invited people to email me something about anything. I didn’t get ONE email what so ever yet everyone was quite happy to COMMENT!

    I dont think it’s mailache, i think it’s mailphobia.

  7. I think it also comes down to wondering just how many people really want to read what any of us has to say in an email. It’s very true, that to get an email in the first place, you usually have to have already written one. So how many people actually ‘bother’ writing that first email?
    Also, if you do happen to receive an email from a ‘still keen email writer’ – how many of you actually ‘bother’ replying?
    I think it comes down to either

    1. laziness (can’t be bothered replying as there is too much else to do in life)

    2. or just a general ‘can’t be bothered writing or replying to an email as you like to read and acknowledge in your own minds that someone has taken the time to write to you, but that doesn’t equate to making the effort back to that person so that they can also get to appreciate ‘that feeling’.

    3. Living under the misconception that no-one else cares to hear what you have to say in an email – so why bother writing it in the first place.

    2 questions for you all.

    1. When was the last time you were the first to write an email to ‘another person’.

    2. Have you ever received an email, that could quite easily have been replied to (even just a few words of a reply) but just closed it instead, and sent no reply, or meant to reply, but forgot about it, until you deem, in your own minds that ‘it’s too late now.

  8. I think it also comes down to wondering just how many people really want to read what any of us has to say in an email. It’s very true, that to get an email in the first place, you usually have to have already written one. So how many people actually ‘bother’ writing that first email?
    Also, if you do happen to receive an email from a ‘still keen email writer’ – how many of you actually ‘bother’ replying?
    I think it comes down to either

    1. laziness (can’t be bothered replying as there is too much else to do in life)

    2. or just a general ‘can’t be bothered writing or replying to an email as you like to read and acknowledge in your own minds that someone has taken the time to write to you, but that doesn’t equate to making the effort back to that person so that they can also get to appreciate ‘that feeling’.

    3. Living under the misconception that no-one else cares to hear what you have to say in an email – so why bother writing it in the first place.

    2 questions for you all.

    1. When was the last time you were the first to write an email to ‘another person’.

    2. Have you ever received an email, that could quite easily have been replied to (even just a few words of a reply) but just closed it instead, and sent no reply, or meant to reply, but forgot about it, until you deem, in your own minds that ‘it’s too late now.

  9. Sigh. I hear you on this one, especially when one is attempting to retrieve email in a foreign country, such as, I don’t know, England. England! Foreign in its sameness to America!
    And in the amount of spam received. I last checked my mail two days ago and when I opened again, I had 78 junk mail messages. 78! That in addition to 15 new messages from people telling me what’s happening in their lives. Now THAT’S the kind of voyeurism I’m into–the kind where all involved parties are totally in on the fact that there’s voyeurism going on. Woot!

  10. Don’t worry Shauny! Help is on the way! Wait for a postcard from somewhere cool at the end of July! Mwahaha

  11. by the way …. emails are usually overrated. wouldn’t you be much happier getting snailmails? at least you won’t get viruses but waiitttttttt … you should check out if your mail has any mysterious white powder! wahhhhh

  12. Let me tell you a thing or two about e-mail, concentrating at length upon its rsults upon the human psyche, and singling out strange illnesses that involves spontaneously combusting heads (a veritable Cronenberg compost of nothing above the neck and brainmatter, natch!), three villainous itises (itii?) that insufferably reside beneath the deepest recesses of the three nails (isn’t 15% always the hardest?) that you think about the least, and how the specific beeps of certain e-mail clients have a way of triggering epileptic seizures if someone is confused enough to mistake the pleasant Eudora beep for the harsh simpering words of Mary Hart (or, considerably worse, Ann Coulter, a bona-fide maven who will make any sensible person’s brain hurt).

    First off, with e-mail, there is lots of it. Thousands of e-mails are fired off into mail servers every minute. Several hundred of these will bounce, frenetically bumping into the gridlock of mistyped addresses or faux spam addresses that spam victims, angered and exhausted by the “PAY $2.99 A MINUTE FOR A HOT FAT FUCK WITH A MARSUPIAL! CLICK HERE!” epistles, perplexed that they of all people would be singled out in such a manner and rejoining appropriately. But most of these e-mails will meet their intended addresses.

    This is where the finer struggle of getting your recepient to read the damned thing comes into play or, for that matter, to respond to it. If, like me, you have a tendency to write longass e-mails and leave longass comments on blogs based in Canberra, then it’s quite likely you will receive no response from your intended suitor. Indeed, this often forces those three daemons to come from beneath the fingernails, waltz with the bamboo shoots that affix themselves into the mail daemon, flipflop mental Post-It notes written in Unix and other strange commands that involve a prompt and then finally effectuate the brain into making a firm disease-ridden resolve.

    In Shauny’s case, the unfortunate aftermath is mailache. But it could be considerably worse. You could be quitting smoking right now. You could be lying in a ditch, doomed to a lifetime of transcribing Pantera lyrics from the one tape you have managed to salvage from your former abode and that you now have playing on your Walkman.

    But since Shauny is above rebuke in expressing her feelings here, since her postings give us all such joy, I would gauge her current status on the same level as the current Kashmir crisis.

    There are only one of two solutions. Send in Jimmy Carter to negotiate between the two sides or send loving e-mails to our dearest Shauny. The choice is yours.

  13. And Simon is absolutely right. The frustrating inability to properly return people’s mails can be the death of us.

    (Apologies by the way for awkward grammar in previous comment. My concentration sucks these days, and will continue in this way for the next week.)

  14. In my case, the tendency to leave emails unreplied-to increases with the volume of emails which are already languishing unreplied-to below it in my date-sorted InBox. No matter how compelling an email may seem, no matter how instinctively I might otherwise have reached for the Reply button, I hesitate when I realise how many other emails are waiting to be replied to. So many other friends would be snubbed if I allowed this new exciting email to jump the queue. And so the new email itself is consigned to the list, even as the sentences of my reply are forming in my mind (soon to be forgotten).

    The answer: a global amnesty on old, out-of-date emails in favour of quick and visceral replies to the newly-incoming.

    That’s all I have to say.

  15. hmmnn… it is sad when your relationships with certain people are so spammie you might as well tin them. i actually am a freak for spam and love hoarding the stuff, but i also get dejected/insanely pissed off when i take the time to write someone (who you consider a friend) an email, and they give nada response aside from FW:Big Tits. Just makes certain relationships doubtful. but then, people have busy lives and can’t always type as fast as me and may not necessarily sit at a computer all day, either. actually, i don’t think they deserve such excuses, on second thoughts.

  16. I wish I got fifteen proper emails of a voyeristic nature in two days like Marybeth. I am jealous!

    Lots of interesting points raised and views expressed in these comments. Which got me thinking some more…

    Lizz mentioned the tendency to share news on blogs, and Scot observed the tendency for people to respond in comments.

    Partly, I think, it’s because commenty things seem to be the natural, proper places to respond to things that are blogged. Perhaps a factor in this (other than the obvious ‘it’s the comments for the blog’ aspect) is that both the blogs and comments are public, while email is private, and seems to be a more personal medium than the thing being responded to.

  17. aren’t comments just for telling the blogger how great s/he is?

    you’re just mah-vell-ous, shauny. spam sucks. i agree with you and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    long comments about whatever the commenter thinks is cool should be kept to the commenter’s own blog.

  18. Rach: I’m afraid Shauny and I have an agreement in place. Our attorneys have sorted out a mutual contract for longass comments from me over the next year. In my case, this is part of a settlement for a lawsuit that involved me being sued for peeing into one of Danielle Steele’s fountains here at her San Francisco residence. In return, Shauny has promised to post stranger, Tolstoy-sized entries over the next six months.

  19. You could’ve just said “i hate spam” and just left it at that, but it wouldn’t have been the entertaining and honest bit of on-head nail hitting that it was 🙂

    And I’d like to sign up to a Shauny newsletter, too!

    (In accordance with Rach’s suggestion, I’ll post my thoughts on newsletters on my own blog.)

  20. ooh. how long is too long? is this too long? can it ever be TOO long? ackackack. don’t mind me and my ‘Carry On’ comments. I think long comments are the kids giving back the lerve to Shauny.

  21. really kiddies. just post whatever the hell you want in the comments, as long as it’s not “FIRST COMMENT!”

    i am pathetically grateful for any attention.

    is it greatful or grateful? i can’t bloody spell for shit.

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