Email should be obsolete by now, so why are we still using it?

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Email is often slow, dull and annoying, yet its dogged determination has allowed it to weather dramatic changes in technology over the decades, writes Annalee Newitz



Technology


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21 October 2020

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I WISH my doorbell would stop emailing me every few hours about how its camera isn’t working. I also wish a certain person would stop sending long-winded, hostile proclamations to one of my favourite email lists. My two wishes bookend the long history of email problems, from irritating listservs 40 years ago to automated notices from inanimate objects today. It is one of the internet’s oldest apps – from the days before we used the word “app” even – and despite its drawbacks, most of us still use it every day.

Typically, the apps we download in 2020 have …



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