How emails develop a life of their own

Email evolution

Because I can (and possibly because I am an engineer and like to play with numbers), I did a quick calculation to work out how full Frank’s inbox would get after the scenario above played its course.

After the fifth iteration (starting when Frank’s initial colleague on forwards the email), Frank has 32 emails in his inbox, and we’ve involved 63 of our (now very close) work colleagues in this discussion.

If the iterations continue overnight to our final cartoon cell,

  • After 10 iterations, Frank has 512 emails
  • After 15, he has has 8,192 emails
  • After 20, he has a whopping 524,288 emails

Makes you think twice about hitting ‘Reply all’, eh?

Next time, pick up the phone instead.


12 Comments on “How emails develop a life of their own”

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    Oh, the dreaded ‘Reply all.’ That thing should be used with the utmost caution. 😉 So many unnecessary emails. Ugh.

  2. Grumpy says:

    In a similar vein; a lady friend of mine always thought that when she SENT an email it was gone for ever from her little iPad email SENT folder. She was a prolific email sender. Eventually the SENT folder became so choc a bloc it consumed the capacity of the machine causing it to virtually grind to a halt. I was called to the rescue on my white charger (actually on my old bicycle) and discovered the problem. There were 11,420 emails, most with photo attachments, in the SENT folder! The INBOX and the TRASH folders were also crammed with old emails!

  3. Is this why I have 89 emails in my inbox?

  4. Morguie says:

    The trappings of an advanced, rapid technology world…a pitfall such as this could set a person’s productivity back a bit…ironic!

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