Summary of How Email Became The Most Reviled Communication Experience Ever

Email wasn't always a source of fear and loathing. What happened? And what can we do about it – really?


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How Email Became The Most Reviled Communication Experience Ever summary
Email tries to solve too many problems at once.


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Email, tech writer John Pavlus explains, tries to do too many things at once: People use it to manage projects, keep track of tasks, have discussions, transfer files and edit documents – sometimes all in one email chain. In the end, it doesn’t do any one of these jobs particularly well. Pavlus explains how emails became a constantly anticipated and frequently hated means of communication, and tells you what you can do about it. getAbstract recommends taking this article’s advice if you harbor a love-hate relationship with your inbox.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How email evolved over the years,
  • Why you can't stop checking your inbox and
  • How to solve some of email's problems.


When scientists and engineers working for the US Defense Department’s R&D division (DARPA) first created email, it was a simple way for programmers to communicate. The Arpanet, an early version of the Internet, connected various DARPA networks. “Sending messages along for the ride made sense.” The World Wide Web popularized email among mainstream users. In 2003, the BlackBerry unlocked email from office desks and made it accessible for businesspeople on the go. And, with the arrival of the iPhone in 2007, email became ubiquitous in people’s private lives.

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About the Author

John Pavlus is a writer and filmmaker focusing on science, tech, and design topics. His writing has appeared in Wired, Scientific American, Technology Review and other outlets.

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