"The tyranny of correspondence in these days becomes a formidable thing... To answer even a dozen letters carefully will take up the best part of a morning, and many of us have not the time to spare. Our energy is consumed attending to other work. ...Letters, I have no doubt, are doing much to kill public men." Sounds quite contemporary, does it not? You might be surprised to learn that this is Robertson Nicoll (writing under the alias of Claudius Clear) in 1901: see his Letters on Life (Toronto: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1901), 149, 151. What would he say about e-mail?