Email is both the boon and bane of our times. It gives us the ability to manage our interaction with others and to conduct business from across the globe. That being said it is without a doubt a large part of most of our lives. So, with this being the case, when is the best time to email and which is the worst time to email?
The best times to email others are when a phone call would not do. Most times it has something to do with either time or efficiency. By time I mean that it is easier on your limited time to just send a short email such as "I am going to go to such and such place, I will meet you there" or "We need to get such and such done by noon on Friday to meet the deadline for this project". By efficiency I mean that we can get many things done in a shorter period of time. Say you need to get something delivered by noon, you have a meeting you want to call, you have a list of things you want your spouse to pick up and you have a note to send a document to the boss for review. Email is the best way to accomplish all of these in the most efficient manner possible.
The worst time to email is when it is less efficient or when a personal touch is necessary. By less efficient I mean that perhaps you are interacting in a creative process with a group or some individual. In this case it might not be best to shoot an email because you will get exactly what you asked for, not necessarily what you envisioned. The creative process on a phone is much better for getting to the root of what you want, it give the other person (or group) the ability to ask questions and dig deeper. In the end you are left with what you really wanted. By personal touch you can likewise get creative or take things to a much deeper level. For instance, let's say someone passed and you want to personalize your sympathies. You would not send an email if you wanted to let the person know just how much you cared for them. You would call and let them know. This is a level of personal interaction that is called for in this time of grief. An email is simply not the best way to convey you heartfelt sorrow for your friend.
Email does have its uses and place in our lives, but we must choose to decide when and when not to use it.