McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Community News Network

April 29, 2013

Need a reply fast? Email someone unhappy

Friendly, upbeat people are a pleasure to work with - except when they don't reply to your emails.

The engineers at Contactually, a referral marketing platform, analyzed more than 100 million email conversations and found something surprising. People who tend to use positive, upbeat language in their messages - like "care" and "amazing" - only respond to 47 percent of their emails within 24 hours. Those who more frequently use negative words, like "missed" and "stupid," respond to a healthy 64 percent of messages within a day. That's 36 percent more than their shiny happy counterparts.

It isn't immediately clear why this should be the case. My first thought was that negative emails take less time to write. I can say, "Sorry, not interested" in 10 seconds, whereas crafting an encouraging response takes a little more time (not to mention willpower). But Contactually co-founder Tony Cappaert told me that doesn't seem to fully explain the trend. Negative people's subject lines averaged 23 characters, just 8 percent fewer than positive people's 25-character average.

"Maybe the negative folks are more active online in general," Cappaert's colleague Jeff Carbonella speculated in a press release about the study. "Sort of explains Internet trolls, doesn't it?"

Or maybe the causality works the other way, and people who spend all day replying to emails end up bitter and snippy.

The study wasn't peer-reviewed and isn't likely to be published in Nature anytime soon. Still, the huge sample size suggests there's at least something to the findings.

               

Oremus is the lead blogger for Future Tense, reporting on emerging technologies, tech policy and digital culture.

               



 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.