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Email vs. WeChat: A Battle of Boundaries

The other day, a recent correspondence materialized in my inbox, originating from a band constituent. He succinctly introduced the ensemble in the communication, elucidating that the band had swiftly garnered popularity on a particular online platform through renditions over the preceding year, and presently boasts hundreds of thousands of ardent admirers. With a genuine plea, he implored me to script commendations for their original compositions, yearning to amplify their exposure and facilitate wider auditory indulgence. Enclosed within the missive were his WeChat identifier and comprehensive band particulars.

Before the arrival of this electronic epistle, I remained oblivious to the existence of this musical assemblage. However, “contract” signifies pecuniary matters, and who among us cannot navigate the realm of finances? Consequently, I perused their opuses on the aforementioned platform, and veraciously speaking, they failed to leave an indelible impression upon me. In response to his correspondence, I extended laudations to the ensemble’s disposition, while inquiring as to any specific blueprints or notions pertaining to the aforementioned “contract.” Subsequently, he retorted to my message, adorned with an amiable visage, expressing his desire to engage in a WeChat dialogue, and appended his nomenclature and WeChat identifier once more. I refrained from further correspondence, and naturally, I abstained from adding his WeChat account. I deem it appropriate to bring this matter to a close.

In my estimation, a disparity of “human warmth” exists between WeChat and email. “WeChat” befits the domain of camaraderie, whereas “email” resides above the realm of unfamiliarity and beneath the domain of friendship. Colleagues frequently employ WeChat as a means of communication, an erroneous demarcation. Although they may appear intimately acquainted, they possess the cognizance that genuine amity shall forever elude them. WeChat’s supplementary feature, the circle of friends, resembles a battlefield of contention beyond the confines of the professional sphere. Concealed behind the veneer of disingenuous and hyperbolic displays among colleagues lies naught but augmented internal strife, bestowing meager benefits. Consequently, I adopt distinct approaches to friends and colleagues on WeChat, without the necessity of employing two mobile devices, but rather by obstructing the latter’s circle of friends. Furthermore, during non-working hours, the pace of my responses to the latter’s messages may decelerate. Deliberately. Perhaps, in the eyes of my colleagues, I am perceived as an exceedingly haughty and unreasonable individual.

Candidly speaking, I derive satisfaction from communicating via email, a medium that permits minimal digressions, virtually devoid of emoticons, fostering an air of composed detachment. Upon my mobile phone interface, when a fresh email surfaces, solely the subject matter is revealed, unlike WeChat, which divulges portions, if not the entirety, of the content. This circumstance engenders within me a blend of curiosity, anticipation, and trepidation, akin to unlocking the door to an enigmatic room. Furthermore, email conveys a succinct and expeditious “rejection,” accompanied by an implicit directive to “refrain from further discourse.” Should I choose not to respond, it signifies an injunction against fruitless message exchanges, obviating the necessity to seek out the “block” option, thereby rendering my stance unequivocal. WeChat, on the other hand, diverges. Ten messages and a solitary response are ordinarily construed as “reasonably acceptable, devoid of any exceptional impropriety.”

Henceforth, I fail to comprehend why the band member insists on employing WeChat as our mode of communication. This pervasive sense of coercion, compelling compliance with his volition, elicits a sense of discomfort. Concurrently, abiding by the boundary I have established between WeChat and email, his sole avenue of initiation must be through electronic correspondence.