Why I'm an e-mail addict; My Technology
For the comedian Al Murray, the computer offers a new way of communicat ion without any hassle
Monday 19 October 1998
I sternly resisted it for ages, being a bit like a vinyl junkie opposing the CD revolution. But I got it because I was having to write a television pilot and it was the best way of getting the draft scripts to my editor. He could then send it back corrected, and it was easier than sending a disk - you just fire it off and it's gone.
However, what it has ended up as is a great way of writing letters. And it's perfect for talking to busy people; everyone screens phone calls these days, but with e-mail you can screen and receive the message at the same time. And you can read it and know exactly what people want- it's not like ringing up and saying "Call me". Those are the practical reasons, but not why I love it so much.
It's better than the old letter because you can edit it, no more screwing Basildon Bond and throwing it in a bin. It's instant like the phone, but it doesn't matter where you are, whether you are in or out, it will get to you. Plus there are no embarrassing silences. I also believe that, in a general way, it has brought back the fact that people write to each other when we have got out of the habit. And with the added bonus of being able to send long strings of rubbish Clinton and Lewinsky jokes around the globe in the blink of an eye.
From personal experience, I have found e-mail is unsurpassed as a tool for conducting romance. You can get to know each other extremely well. The other good thing for all us worrying romantic hearts out there is that if a letter doesn't turn up you don't know, but with e-mail you can just send it again. I am not bothered what software I use. I have no great loyalty as they all seem to crash now and again and I am in no great hurry. Bar the prospect of it crashing without you having saved the memo, you can take your time and write it properly without having to start all over again. It has all the advantages of the word processor and none of the disadvantages of longhand.
Also, I think it is quite an intimate thing - after all, it is beamed straight into your desktop. You can have a reply to a letter, and keep in the same intimate time scale and thought pattern, almost as if having a conversation. It's perfect in these impatient times. You can tell them all in one go.
I got the e-mail specifically for a practical reason. By contrast, I think the Internet is rubbish and an enormous red herring. People are discovering Web sites from two years ago that have not been updated and a lot of the information is useless. I think it is a joke in that respect. And not a very good one.
Al Murray's `The Pub Landlord's Late Lock-In' is at The Improv Comedy Club, London, 24 and 31 October and 7 and 8 November. Box Office: 0171- 387 2414.
Interview by Jennifer Rodger
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Narendra Modi: Indian Prime Minister wears suit with pinstripes that spell his name to meet Barack Obama
Ed Sheeran texts Noel Gallagher to offer him tickets after that Wembley Stadium rant
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
Taylor Swift banned from Triple J Hottest 100: Fans react to epic #Tay4Hottest100 defeat
Mortdecai becomes Johnny Depp's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Last Tango in Halifax, review: Can we ever really move on from Kate?
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'