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Archive for July 18th, 2007

Ask the AP Style experts…

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

I just came across this “Ask the editor” feature from APStylebook.com.

Next time you have an AP style question you just don’t know the answer to and none of the editors or copy editors can give you a definitive answer, this is the go-to resource. I just skimmed through it a bit and already I’ve had a few lingering style questions answered for me.

BTW: I saw the link on the NewsU ACCESS blog.

Breaking from the constant contact

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

The first thing I do every morning when I wake up is reach for my phone. There are two reasons for this. First, I use it as my alarm clock, and at 7 a.m. I just want it to shut up. But the second, far worse reason is, I want to check my e-mail.

I don’t know why I feel compelled to check for new e-mail that has arrived since bedtime and dawn. I know, and tell myself each day when I do it, that nobody else was up to send me e-mails. Even if they did, surely the e-mail can wait until I brush my teeth, right? And yet, every morning, I do it anyway.

Today, I read this article, Stop Your BlackBerry From Being the Boss, and I have to confess. Yesterday, when I was at dinner with a friend/co-worker, I was texting another friend, granted the other friend was part of the conversation but that’s beside the point. How many times have I been annoyed when someone else was having a phone conversation instead of engaging in the conversation at table? And though I laugh a bit about it now, I have, most definitely, checked my e-mail while driving. Haven’t you?

Apparently, and I think the story is right, this is a sign I need to let go.

I used to get far more e-mail than I do now. Perhaps it’s just that I used to use one single account for both personal and professional e-mail, whereas now I have my J&C account and my gmail account (which my kent e-mail feeds into so it’s all together). To my credit, I rarely check the J&C account when I’m not sitting at my desk. But my personal e-mail? Constantly. When I’m sitting at my MacBook it’s constantly updating my status bar. When I’m at work, I have my personalized Google page constantly up in a tab which I check several times a day.

So, I’m going to try and internalize these four tips from the article:

  • There’s no such thing as an “email emergency.”

  • The world does not revolve around you.
  • Stick to a schedule.
  • Respect BlackBerry Blackout Zones.

And you know what? I’m pretty sure the world will keep spinning and nothing major will fall through. Because as item number one says, if it’s that important, someone will call me instead.