Worst of all are the phishers
Researchers at the University of Glasgow and the University of the West of Scotland have examined how people email, and matched them to behaviours associated with 12 different bird species.
Why? Perhaps these bird-brainiacs are hoping to feather their nests. Or maybe they want to suggest they’re part of the popular flock.
They have placed one bird at the top of the pecking order: the robin. These people are said to have “perfect email manners”, by not allowing email to dictate their lives and making time to speak to people in person whenever they can.
The other 11 email birds sport less flattering plumage. Ostriches never reply to emails, peacocks broadcast self-aggrandisement, and night owls don’t recognise other people’s need for time out.
While mockingbirds are serial forwarders, sending on chain emails, petitions and anything else that takes their fancy. Watch out for email from these early birds, unless you want to get a worm.
Dr Karen Renaud, senior lecturer in the School of Computing Science at the University of Glasgow, said: “What the research really highlights is that email is a great source of stress for many people. Too often, email is used instead of a more suitable means of communication like actually talking to someone.”
So if you find you’re a mynah, a hummingbird, or a woodpecker, perhaps it’s time to shut down your email and see whether your time could be used more constructively… on Twitter.
The full list of email behavioural types is listed below:
• Compulsive Woodpecker: Can’t resist reading email at all hours of the day and night.
• Hibernating Poorwill: Reads email only occasionally so that senders can never rely on them.
• Incommunicado Ostrich: Reads emails but doesn’t reply to them. Often to be seen with the Hibernating Poorwill.
• Caterwauling Peacock: Broadcasts emails to all and sundry, claiming that people “need to know” when actually he is grandstanding.
• Pesky Crow: “Leans” on others by means of email, sending multiple versions of the same document, or sending multiple emails about the same topic. This bird inspires fear and loathing in the hearts of other birds.
• Buck-Passing Cuckoo: Sends emails to others asking them to carry out some task she should do herself, and then leaves quickly and mimics the Incommunicado Ostrich so that the unfortunate recipient is left carrying the baby.
• Back-Covering Emu: Sends emails in order to be able to prove, at a later date, that the information was passed on.
• Camouflaging Woodcock: Uses blind copy to send copies of emails to other recipients without the main recipient’s knowledge. Unlike the Back-covering Emu, this bird is seldom seen in all its glory.
• Echoing Mynah: Acknowledges all emails. For example engages in exchange something like: “thanks”, then “my pleasure”, then “thanks again”.
• Boorish Parrot: Sends abusive or inappropriate emails and fails to understand why others get upset by them.
• Echolalia Mockingbird: A serial forwarder, sending chain emails, online petitions and anything else that takes his fancy. Most of these emails have a subject line starting with “FW”. This bird is easily ignored by other birds, but doesn’t know why.
• Night Owl: The midnight emailer, who fails to understand that others do wish to have “time out”. This bird flocks with the Lightning Response Hummingbird.
• Hoarding Magpie: Keeps hundreds of emails in the inbox but can never find exactly the one they are looking for.
• Lightning-Response Hummingbird: Responds immediately to email, and expects an immediate response in return.
• Popular Robin: Simply does not allow email to dictate. They take the time to speak to people whenever possible and do not let email to take over their lives. This bird is the favourite amongst all the birds.
Are you an avian emailer? Or do you reckon this research is strictly for the birds? Have your say below.