Email flirting

When I became a member of the rat race after a nice long holiday at Uni, email became my new toy. Most people had used computers at college, either for typing up coursework or emailing their mates. I never quite made it that far so for me it was a novelty. My first cyber “partner” was my friend Kate, through her I built up my email network and before long, with more of my friends online; I acquired an entire repertoire of people to distract me. Hey, I even met my last boyfriend over email. In fact, meeting potential romantic encounters over email seems to be my thing…

Email is great. It’s good for distraction; you can flirt brilliantly over it and assume a whole other persona. I have had countless email frissons where I cheekily emailed friends of friends, picked up from a circular mail (the cyber equivalent of picking someone up from a bar I guess) and indulged in some heavy duty flirtin’. It is also very good for building up a relationship. When I started seeing my ex, we spent hours mailing and it made it a lot easier to get to know each other. I guess any boundaries that might have been there in the first place were gradually lowered. You feel like you are in control and can monitor exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it. Naturally, as with any kind of drug, it does not always smell of roses. Email can be quite an impersonal way of communicating, particularly if you are trying to get to know someone. It becomes easier than phoning or interacting on a normal basis and so the communication can actually suffer in the long term.

You are plagued with the same worries except there is an even greater sense of urgency. If you don’t receive an email for the first half of the morning from your cyber playmate then a heart attack is imminent. It’s not like you can call and do 141 with your identity concealed. So if playing hard to get is your thing then you have to sustain all temptation and spend the day looking wistfully at your inbox.

The worst thing is spending an entire day panicking and irritating everyone else in the office only to discover later that the server was down. Then of course you still have to play it cool. “No emails – oh don’t worry honestly, I didn’t even have time to send any” – forgetting in the meantime the million undelivered ones floating in your inboxes and the subsequent tears. As for email servers being down, I think in every job I have ever had, the IT department has come to rely on me as a vital source of information. I always seem to know well in advance when my email isn’t working.

Then again there are countless email woopsies waiting to happen. Emails have a knack of occasionally straying and ending up in the wrong person’s inbox, usually boyfriends, ex’s and your Managing Director. There is also the lack of intonation in mailing, which doesn’t help and can lead to many an email fracas if taken the wrong way. It is a dangerous thing. Although an email relationship can be thrilling, it can also be fairly stressful once technology waves its magic wand. Plus it really is addictive and is not conducive with a good day’s work. Having said that I am still well up for a spot of email flirting, so guys…