Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fighting e-diversion

Kitty with Laptop
Kitty with Laptop (Wikimedia Commons)
E-diversion - a strange but compelling term I came across today in reading an NYT article about the Postal Service's efforts to increase their volume of business. (It's in the last paragraph of the article.) It was used in a statement by the agency as follows, “Given our financial situation, continued e-diversion, and increased competition from alternative delivery services, this is one example of how the Postal Service is pursuing innovations and new products to increase the value of mail and retain our business customers.” Although no one likes junk mail, I'm all for helping and encouraging the Postal Service get back to a more competitive level. To that end, they have to counter the level of "e-diversion" that engulfs every person's life. It would be healthy if we could go on internet fasts on a regular basis and just do things the non-e and non-i way. Send greeting cards, call people, meet people face-to-face, whatever, just turn off devices of all manner. This is a hard thing to do, as Slate reporter James Sturm discovered, but if people decide to try it together, it might succeed in developing more real social interaction. The internet for all its universality, has in many ways made us much more insular and provincial, with little tolerance for differences. If we had to be in same room with each other, as opposed to on the same network, we might learn more about the world. I realize it's a forlorn hope, but we can hope...

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