The use of email is deeply connected with paper rituals that humans have clung to despite the digital age making them redundant, according to Intel director, Interaction and Experience Research, Genevieve Bell.
"One of the things that is an interesting facet of email, unlike in some ways SMS and texting, is that emails can be printed out," she said at last month's TechLines future of email debate.
This meant that people were able to use emails to print out to-do lists or directions, for example.
"Ironically enough, printing out emails and giving them to other people — a practice I find very endearing and sort of odd — does none the less happen.
"There are all sorts of rituals around paper that have an interesting kind of relationship with email," she said.
And people weren't willing to let go of those dead trees, according to Bell.
"The whole notion of the paperless office that was very much a conceit of the 1980s and 1990s," she said. "I see people with paper all over here."