An e-mail affliction: The long goodbye

Email | Michele Mossop - Sydney Morning Herald

Email | Michele Mossop – Sydney Morning Herald

I commented in The New York Times about the ambiguity of silences and non-responses in online versus offline communication.

Cohen, J. (2002, May 9). An e-mail affliction: The long goodbyeNew York Times.

”Silence is one way we judge that any conversation is over,” said E. Sean Rintel, a graduate student in sociology at the State University of New York at Albany who has researched openings, closings and silences in communication. But silence in e-mail is ambiguous. It could mean countless things, from ‘The kettle is boiling’ to ‘I met someone better.’ Then there is the coward’s way out: claiming that the computer was down. ”You can always blame it on the technology if you don’t want to respond,” Mr. Rintel said. ‘You don’t have to accept responsibility as a social being at all.'”

Read the full article at:

The New York Times