All right, I’ll fess up. Several times a week, when receiving an email from an acquaintance or web stranger when I am already before the computer, I am very tempted to send a reply within minutes of receving the message. Sometimes I just do. But most of the time I force myself to wait at least an hour or two, simply to convey the impression I am not overly eager to respond, that I am not a person with little better to do than respond to emails.
With rare exceptions, I have another rule. When having a weighty exchange of ideas via email, I limit myself to one response per person per day. More than that is overkill and a waste of time. You can argue a lot (and spend a lot of time defeating the other person’s points), and then find you have wasted your entire day bickering and doing little else.