Mark Nichols has a post E-mail bankruptcy
in which he comments briefly on the Stuff
item on email bankruptcy
. Like me Mark tries to keep his inbox clear, he writes:
I feel uneasy if I have to scroll down to see the entire contents of my inbox
when this happens (often!) I don't just feel "uneasy" I feel pressured and over-worked! But look at the cause. It is not the emails that need a quick simple answer - unless I am very busy they get it. It is not the emails that require deep thought - if they are interesting and stimulating they get it. It is the 50 or so emails every day that I have to move across to storage - unread, or delete. They come from colleagues, often from "authorities". They fall into several recognisable and preventable classes. Such as:
- repeats (why do three different people all feel they need to tell me about the same conference?)
- rubbish from my viewpoint - though important to the sender (it was a conference on a topic that they find inspiring but makes me yawn!)
- overkill (people who think I need to read about everything or I'll feel left out)
- "entertainment" (how many cute cat videos do you really think I want to watch - your humour in my inbox just makes me angry!)
- ... etc...
Looking at the list it's clear. If people in institutions would focus, either create nuanced email lists (instead of one "all staff" one) and then think for a while about who is likely to be really
interested in this, or needs, really needs
to know it, a lot would be gone. If only I could charge the senders 20 cents an email my box would be clear, because "they" would think twice.
And that's the sad part, it is mainly colleagues who produce this tidal wave of quasi-Spam. After all if they weren't colleagues, friends or bosses I'd have labeled mail from their addresses Junk and got it redirected to the Spam box long ago.
Even more sadly the culprits will never read this, they are not technically literate enough to subscribe to an RSS feed, that's why they have neither cottoned on that I delete half their mails, nor that less is more when it comes to communication.
<insert image of Munch's "Scream" here>