4 Influential People Who Don’t Use Email (And Why)

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4 Influential People Who Don’t Use Email (And Why)

It’s tough to picture life without email, yet some individuals have chosen to abandon it entirely. People who don’t use email at all, such as film director Christopher Nolan and millionaire John Paul Dejoria, couldn’t be happier.

While you may use tactics to minimize email overload, you will almost certainly meet an overwhelming volume of messages in your inbox at some time. And, with new communication tools such as social networks, instant messengers, and team-oriented chatrooms, there is a compelling argument to be made for abandoning email once and for all.

Listening to successful individuals who have previously done this, like with many other things in life, might provide some insight into whether it will be beneficial to you or not.

Christopher Nolan

For one simple reason, the famed director behind the Batman trilogy and Inception does not use email.

“I’ve never used email because I don’t believe it would benefit me in any way. I just couldn’t be bothered “According to Nolan, The Hollywood Reporter.

Nolan also said that he does not use mobile phones since they are a distraction. It’s possible that you’re hooked to your smartphone. When Nolan states that owning a phone is a temptation to stop thinking and start consuming, he makes an excellent point. By releasing himself from that, he has more time to contemplate.

And if he ever has to contact someone, he adds, there is always someone nearby with a phone.

Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Graham just became viral for the strangest of reasons. No, not his announcement to run for President of the United States. Graham said on the renowned political discussion program Meet The Press:

“No, I don’t email. You have access to every email I’ve ever sent. I’ve never mailed one before.”

Graham’s reasoning is straightforward: he considers his words. He is scared of email since it is a communication device that allows you to reply fast with words you don’t want on record. Instead, he calls the individual to answer to every email.

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“I’ve tried not to have a system in place where I can simply say whatever stupid thing comes to mind. I’ve always been worried “He told Bloomberg that. “I can receive SMS and call you back if necessary. I receive a text, and I answer not by texting you, but by calling you if I believe what you requested is important enough for me to contact you. I’m not bragging, but I’m trying to jealously preserve myself in terms of being able to work through issues rather than engaging in talk all day. I’ve got a chance to carve out some time for myself without having to answer to every 15-second crisis.”

Of sure, this is a great plan. Former presidential candidate John McCain does not use email because he is afraid of saying anything inappropriate. Even 140 characters may be a PR catastrophe, so be cautious about what you put out there with your name. While there are tools to help you prevent email blunders, Graham is taking the “better safe than sorry” approach.

Conservative strategist John Feehery said it best: “Politicians were taught that ‘don’t write if you can speak it, and don’t say it if you can nod.’ The revised version is ‘Don’t email it,’ and that’s a really sensible method to avoid disgrace and even prison.”

Julian Assange

Is it surprising that the guy who revealed the world’s private communications and secrets does not use email? Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks and one of the world’s most prominent white hat hackers, informed Google Chairman Eric Schmidt that he does not use email.

The reason, as you probably guessed, is security.

According to Computer World, Assange said, “(Email) is too risky.” “And encrypted email may be even worse, since it serves as a red signal for end-point assaults… yet we do have encrypting phones. Unfortunately, they do not operate in all countries, but SMS messages do.”

In a larger sense, Assange is correct. Yes, there are safe and encrypted email companies that protect your communications with more fervour than, say, Gmail or Outlook. However, they are still not able to provide complete protection. Indeed, as we have already stated, email cannot be secured from government snooping without rigorous legislation.

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John Paul Dejoria

You must need email if you manage one of the world’s greatest tequila brands, one of the world’s largest hair care and styling firms, and are a well-known philanthropist, right? Wrong. John Paul Dejoria enjoys a life devoid of email.

“I’d be besieged if I had email. I have chosen not to use computers “Inc. magazine quotes Dejoria. “I’d rather call you or send you a letter and speak with you in the manner in which you deserve to be communicated with.”

His whole approach to email boils down to a simple formula that we would all benefit from following:

“Pay attention to the vital few, ignore the trivial many.”

In the clip above, he describes how he built up a delegation structure that allows him to eliminate email and communicate only via phone calls or letters. It will be difficult to replicate if you are not at the executive level, however there are some nice things in there.

Is Email Obsolete or Outdated?

Let’s face it: email isn’t going away anytime soon for most of us. It is still an important aspect of modern communication, thus it is far from outdated. However, it is out of date in certain areas.

Email is no longer the best way for businesses and teams to communicate. IBM has gradually weaned itself off of it, to the point that some of its workers are no longer using email at all.

Email also has time constraints, necessitating the creation of a secondary storage or bulletin board for essential communications. Scott Berkun, a former WordPress executive, writes in Fast Company, “Email deteriorates with time. If a superb e-mail is written, an employee must do something to preserve it. Otherwise, it is concealed in an inbox from new workers. That organizational knowledge disappears with time.”

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Of course, the most common complaint leveled towards email is that it is too impersonal. According to Bishop Tobin of The Rhode Island Catholic, “I avoid email at work because I believe it is often used to avoid actual contact and discourse. Emails are antiseptic, distant, and off-putting. Some individuals write things in emails that they would never say to a family member or coworker in person. And emails aren’t always as efficient as proponents claim.”

Lessons to Learn from Email Cutters

While completely eliminating email is an extreme move, these folks make several valid arguments that you can readily adopt in your email-filled life to make it a more rewarding experience.

  1. Stop continuously checking your email. Set aside time for yourself.
  2. Don’t answer right away. While you have no control over when you get an email, you do have power over when you respond to it. Allow yourself some thought time. The first thing to ask is, “Would I still respond to this if it wasn’t an email?”
  3. Pay attention to the important few and dismiss the insignificant many.
  4. Use a more personal mode of contact whenever feasible. If you can meet the individual in person or speak with them on the phone, do so.

Do You Want to Ditch Email?

Have you ever considered or done away with email for good? What are the challenges of ditching email? Let’s discuss in the comments!

We also want to hear from email’s advocates, individuals who consider it indispensable in their everyday lives. What makes you prefer email over other modes of communication?

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