Overwhelmed by Email

Has anyone else started feeling like email sucks? Lately, I don’t even like checking my email because there’s so much dread that comes from it. Maybe it’s because I never get anything worth being excited about. I usually get ads (a lot of which “unsubscribe” doesn’t seem to be an option), daily/weekly/month tidbits on cool things and what’s new in programming, and job rejections.

Ads there’s not much I can do about unless I totally abandon my email and get a new one. I could start doing more aggressive filtering and deleting, but, I don’t know, it feels like such a daunting thing even though it doesn’t really require much effort. But it requires some effort and to me, clicking through the ads and deleting them currently seems like a better solution. Maybe it’s just weird justifications.

The newsletters seem like a good idea, like I’ll just be able to get a digest of things going on around the world and I don’t have to go hunting down for it. I do skim through a lot of these and there are very interesting articles that come out of them, but I often feel like my attention span doesn’t give these newsletters the time they deserve and I almost feel guilty. I feel guilty! Like someone took the time to curate or write these newsletters and I’m just throwing it away like it was personal.

Last are the job rejections. When going through this job search, I feel like I have the Schrödinger’s cat version of job opportunities. Before I check my email, I could have the job, and I could also not have the job. But there’s an possibility that’s hard for me to ignore. Although, with this analogy, I’m just a cat murderer because there hasn’t been a job opportunity that says alive in my box.

Anyways, does anyone feel overwhelmed by emails? Do you have a number in which it starts to be too much for you? I start panicking around 50 emails and then start avoiding my inbox. Usually once it reaches 100 and beyond, I start stressing out before I decide to just sit down and tackle through all the emails at once. And then I rinse and repeat.

I suppose people don’t really get joy from emails. Unless you use email to actually communicate with friends and family, but I suspect those people are in the minority. They’re probably also your grandparents who send spammy poems and stories. Actually, that’s not fair to grandparents. But I suspect people who use email to communicate are also spreading the joys of chain letters.

I hate that email is a source of stress for me. It’s that organizational clutter that just makes me want to avoid it. It might not take up physical space in my life, but it sure takes up psychological space. I always feel like it’s the end of the world when I open up email. Dramatic, you say? I don’t think so.