Talking Tech: The 5 stages of 'reply all' angst

·3 min read

There are a lot of reasons tech can annoy you while working. Zoom decides to stop functioning correctly during an important meeting. You might be extra busy and your computer thinks now would be a great time to restart for updates.

But I've got one I would argue is worse than anything you could imagine. It's like Voldemort: I worry about speaking its name for fear it will strike at any time.

It's the reply all thread.

You know how it starts. Maybe someone sent a bulk email and decided not to hide all the recipients. Perhaps an irritated colleague figures why not share my contempt for receiving this random group email – with everyone.

Reply all is supposed to be useful when sending emails. Not in this case, which is why I present you with "The Five Stages of 'Reply All' Angst."

Stage one: Dread

It's like the calm before a storm. That first message replying "please remove me from this thread" or similar retort leaves you hoping (maybe even praying) it just stops there. Oh no, readers. This is only the beginning.

Stage two: Bewilderment

Why is this person replying to everyone on this chain with the response "please don't reply all?" You're making it worse! Then there are the other respondents who just say "hello" because they love watching the world burn.

Stage three: Anger

You would think after a couple of these messages, people would stop. How naive. More people pop in with their reply to everyone. They want off this email distribution too, or they want to remind everyone they don't have to reply all. By now, the messages in this thread have littered your inbox for the day. Welcome to Email Hell. Population: You.

Stage four: Apathy

There's a brief moment when you figure ignoring it and just deleting all the messages will take care of things. The only problem is people can't help themselves.

Stage five: Acceptance

At this point, you remember many email clients include filters and rules that any messages with a specific subject, like a certain reply all thread, can be delivered straight to your deleted folder where it belongs. Inbox saved. Congratulations, your reply all nightmare is over.

Care to share your worst reply all experiences? Let me know on Twitter.

What else happened in tech?

►Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. If approved, Call of Duty, one of the best-selling franchises for video game consoles, will have a new home.

►5G and flights. Why is the airline industry so worried?

►More on Wordle. Why the viral game is the diversion we need now.

►Ready to pay more for Netflix? Prices for the streaming service are going up. Again.

Thursday's tech tip

Got a lot of old, unused tech sitting around your home? Here's how to get rid of it, and maybe make some money in the process.

On this week's Talking Tech

On the Talking Tech podcast, we discuss the massive Microsoft-Activision deal, 5G and airlines, and how to find your favorite streaming movies and TV shows.

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Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Talking Tech: Reply all nightmares, plus the Microsoft-Activision deal

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