Sunday, December 13, 2015

Email Subscriptions

As I write this post, the icon on my mail app on my dock (yes I use a Mac) has a badge with “700” on it*. For anyone who doesn’t know (is there really anyone who doesn’t know what this means?), that means that I have 700 unread emails. How crazy is that? I want to say that about 97% of those emails are automatically generated emails that are sent to me because I, at one time or another, bought something or used a service from each sender. The fact that I didn’t bother to read any of them says a lot about how I, and presumably most other people, look at these email blasts.

This has become such a problem that Google started to implement functionality that separates all of your emails into different categories: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums. There is a tab for each category that you click on to see emails that Gmail thought belonged in that category. The main reason I started using it: so I didn’t have to see all of the annoying promotional emails that I get. I only ever pay attention to emails that show up in the “Primary” section unless I see the notification on my phone and think “oh, that email deserves my attention, let me find it in the mass of unwanted emails that I have”. 

The first thing you may be thinking is “why don’t you just unsubscribe from those emails if you don’t want to see them?” Well, frankly, I don’t have the time or the desire to do that. I’m just going to keep using this flawed system that I have in place because I’m used to it and it fits nicely into my workflow. It would be an inefficient use of precious time to go through and unsubscribe from all of them, so I’m not going to until I absolutely need to because it’s so messed up that I can barely make sense of it.

Sounds a lot like how the Government treats the economy, right? Keep using the flawed system that everyone’s used to until you absolutely have to change it because everything is so messed up.

*N.B. the counter on my email now says “699” because I paused halfway through this post to check an email

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