Email CC photo from ShutterstockE-Mail is Dead! Long Live E-Mail!

There are a lot of things Millennials can do to change the world. Some of them have already started and some are a work in progress. One thing I hope and trust Millennials can do is kill the dreaded cc: in email communications.

The cc: has become too prevalent in e-mail and it should be stopped.

Yes. I’m talking about the cc or Carbon Copy option within your email application. Perhaps you are a frequent user of the cc. If yes … stop. Just Stop! Millennials can be the arbiters of this effort. The first movers to end the dreaded CC.

History of the cc:

cc means Carbon Copy. Some people consider it to mean Courtesy Copy. Which is cute and somewhat truthful.

The cc: was invented to create a digital equivalent of the analog form of mail – where mail was a typed letter (yes, with a typewriter) that was sent around in inter-office mail pouches or via the postal service. A piece of carbon paper was inserted into the typewriter between two pieces of paper to make a duplicate cop … hence the name carbon copy.

Millennials are sitting in the catbird seat to make a huge difference in the way email communication is utilized. Milliennials are in a position to wipe the dreaded cc: off the face of the earth. Now is the time. Are Millennials up for the challenge?

Pop Quiz – What Do You Do When You Are cc’d on an e-mail?

  • According to my informal survey of about 50 people the standard answer was NOTHING!
  • Everyone said being cc’d on an email was just an FYI and No Action Required indicator.
  • What, wait? You mean if you are cc’d on an email you don’t do anything?
  • The overwhelming answer was YES.

People on the cc: line are by default excused from doing ANYTHING. They were copied on the mail… as a courtesy.

How about you?

  • What do you do when you are cc’d on an email?
  • (please reply in the comments). I really do want to know.
  • And, if you are a Millennial I want to know if you will step up to kill the dreaded cc: once and for all.

Most People See the cc as one of these three things:

  • CYA – A Cover Your Ass(ets) way to let everyone on the cc: line know they are involved.
  • Passive-Aggressive – A P-A way to let the recipients on the to: line know that you have alerted the masses.
  • My Boss is Watching You – A subtle way to say… My boss is on this thread now. So, beware!

Taking a Stance on the cc: option

I don’t know if refusing to use the cc: option when sending email will help you stand out in your career, but I have an idea it just might. Everyone complains that they get too much email. By eliminating the superfluous and irrelevant cc: option from email applications you can be the hero of the office by sending one less email to clog up someone’s inbox. What do you think? Can you quit using the cc: option?

What Can Replace the cc: option? What can replace email?
The simple answer is Collaborative Computing.

E-mail is Not Dead, but …

Email has been around since 1971 (to learn more click here). As much as we might like it to be it’s not going away anytime soon. Google and Microsoft recently announced new products to manage your inbox.

I have nothing against email. When used right it can work very effectively. However, like most older tools and technologies it has been morphed, adapted and bastardized to do things it may not have originally been intended to do. Que Sera, Sera … Whatever will be, will be.

What about the BCC?
Don’t get me started. BCC should have never made it into the world of “electronic” mail. In case you don’t know – BCC stands for … Blind Carbon Copy. It should NEVER be used… EVER!

Change the World… from the To: line only please

One Thing Millennials Can Do To Change The World is to kill off the dreaded CC.

E-Mail is Dead! Long Live E-Mail!

Will Millennials be the ones to kill e-mail once and for all? Or will that task fall to Gen Z?

What do you think? Are you a profligate cc’r today? Will you make the commitment to stop using the cc: option?