Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The History of Our Biggest Time-Suck: Email [INFOGRAPHIC]

Ah, yes - the wonders of "electronic mail." Looking back at the history of email - there was no indication in the early days that it would be the spam-filled, scammer, junk mail delight it has become. It started off with good intentions "...modern!", "...just like a typed memo!", "...you can even CC and BCC - just like a real letter!"

And yet, in the 32 years since email was "born" (32 years!) it has now become something that everyone has to manage. It's become the defacto method of communication over all else - causing the US Postal Department to bleed red ink, close post offices and threaten to cut services.

Yet email is showing its age. We use the terms "cc" and "bcc" as part of our everyday lexicon... but honestly, do you know what it means? "CC" means "carbon copy". Carbon, as in carbon paper. For you youngsters - in the old days (pre-1980), when you wanted to communicate with people in written form - you would use the extremely cool, technologically advanced "typewriter." (google it).

If you wanted to send a "copy" of the same letter to someone else, you would take a piece of "carbon" paper, place it under the original piece of paper and put another blank piece of paper below the carbon paper. When the keys of the typewriter struck the top piece of paper, the physical impact of the key crashing into the top piece of paper would be transferred to the carbon paper and the imprint of the letter would cause some of the carbon to deposit a letter-shaped mark on the second sheet.

Yeah, really. Not kidding.


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