It is the nightmare that virtually all email users dread: accidentally hitting "Reply All".
This week, one student at New York University took the all-too-simple error to the next level, when he inadvertently discovered a bug in the school email system that allowed anyone to "reply all" to a generic university email, bombarding nearly 40,000 people with his answer.
A bore, they tell us, is someone who, when you ask him how he is, tells you. “Let me tell you about my operation,” he says. To that familiar definition, our culture has added another: a bore is anyone who relates the details of an airplane incident.
Has the advent of the Internet and computer technology led congregations toward the “virtual church,” undermining the face-to-face relationships that have long characterized congregational life? Two recent studies, one supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the other by the Indianapolis Center for Congregations, suggest not.
Like most pastors, I claim that the face-to-face meeting is the best way to do the ministry of the church; also like most pastors, I spend an enormous amount of time reading and composing e-mails. I am driven not so much by my own schedule or preferences as by those of my church members. Many of them use e-mail all day long and expect the church to do the same. If I want to keep up, I have to keep typing.
Denizens of Washington, D.C., are the most addicted, but more Atlantans do it in church. A new 20-city survey on “e-mail addiction,” released by America Online, said the nation’s capital is the most afflicted—no surprise to anyone who’s witnessed that city’s “crackberry” epidemic.