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E Mail And Public Discourse Essay

946 words - 4 pages

“E-mail doesn’t just collapse distance, it demolishes all boundaries” (Leonard 233). The author of “We’ve Got Mail-Always” explains that e-mail can be “either a blessing or a curse”(Leonard 233). Does e-mail have positive or negative impact on personal and public discourse? Many people may say that it affects discourse negatively. Most people, however, agree that e-mail is a very common, cheap and quick form of communication which enables them to fulfill their social need of interaction. People at different age and different education or social level have their own e-mail accounts and they communicate with others electronically way very often. E-mail has positive impact on personal and public discourse.
E-mail has positive influence on public and private discourse because many people are more open and honest while writing e-mail than during face-to-face conversation. Andrew Leonard learned that “e-mail also flattens hierarchies within the bound of an office. It is far easier, Shreve notes, to make suggestion to your superiors and colleagues via e-mail than it is to do so in a pressure-filled meeting room” (qtd. in Leonard 231). Moreover, Barry Diller, who is CEO of US Networks, says: “I’m much more intimate and personal in e-mail than I am anywhere else” (qtd. in Schwartz 237). E-mail is a great tool in expressing oneself better during a discussion. Shreve adds, “Any time you have something to say, e-mail can make it easier” (qtd. in Leonard 231). There are people who are shy or afraid to express what they think in open conversation. However, while writing e-mail, they are more open and can express themselves more truly. Tony Schwartz, in “Going Postal”, says that “e-mail promotes a certain openness and intimacy not encouraged by other forms of communication” (237).
E-mail also positively affects public and private discourse in that it allows people to control the way they express themselves. While writing an e-mail, people have the possibility to go through the message carefully before they send it. Barry Diller points out: “With e-mail the process is primary written. I have to focus more on what I’m going to say, compose sentences, make myself understood, reflect before I react” (qtd. in Schwartz 237). With e-mail, people can avoid impulsive reaction to control someone’s words and replay in a calm way. E-mail gives an opportunity to convey more controlled and thought-out messages in public as well in private discourse. Barry Diller adds: “I read what I’ve written and edit myself” (qtd. in Schwartz 237). Before sending an e-mail, a person can always review and rewrite it, thus positively changing personal and public discourse.
Furthermore, e-mail has positive impact on public discourse in that people can develop themselves by communicating with other people. Newsgroups, another function of the internet, is able create a community. People gathering in front of their computer and writing messages about a particular subject exchange their...

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