Do not send

This small book about a big subject is subtitled The Four-Thousand-Year Journey to Your Inbox, and for Freeman, an SN&R contributor, that includes the entire history of written communication—and our efforts, through technology, to speed things up. Freeman argues that we’ve mistaken speed for efficiency, and as a result, we are rapidly losing touch with what makes us human. Instead of slaves chained to the galley bench, we are instead linked by invisible chains to work—and haven’t you ever checked e-mail while on vacation? Freeman’s closing chapters are devoted to suggestions for rehumanizing our communications by limiting the use of e-mail and focusing instead on relationships with other—actual—people. Using a wide variety of both sociological and literary references, he makes a good case—but like any addict, I’m not quite ready to give it up.