The Six Stages of Email

Posted on July 2, 2007

Nora Epron discusses the Six Stages of Email in a new Op Ed piece in The New York Times. Modeled after the stages of grief, Nora's version traces her feelings about email -- from the joy when it was first introduced, to the lows of the avalanche of spam, to begrudging acceptance of its place in her life. It also chronicles her love affair with AOL, which began with passion, but ended badly.

Stage One: Infatuation

I just got e-mail! I can't believe it! It's so great! Here's my handle. Write me! Who said letter writing was dead? Were they ever wrong! I'm writing letters like crazy for the first time in years. I come home and ignore all my loved ones and go straight to the computer to make contact with total strangers. And how great is AOL? It's so easy. It's so friendly. It's a community. Wheeeee! I've got mail!


Stage Three: Confusion

I have done nothing to deserve any of this:

The Democratic National Committee needs you. Virus Alert. FW: This will make you laugh. FW: This is funny. FW: This is hilarious. FW: Grapes and raisins toxic for dogs. FW: Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Final Farewell. FW: Kurt Vonnegut's Commencement Address. FW: The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. AOL Member: We value your opinion.


Stage Five: Accommodation

Yes. No. No :). No :(. Can't. No way. Maybe. Doubtful. Sorry. So Sorry. Thanks. No thanks. Not my thing. You must be kidding. Out of town. O.O.T. Try me in a month. Try me in the fall. Try me in a year. can now be reached at

Nora's latest books is I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being a Woman, a collection of very funny essays.

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