I’m not sure when it happened. Maybe it was the fact that since attending the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos, I’ve been on the road about half the time. Maybe it was that with the economic crisis and concomitant uncertainty, more bits of potentially meaningful information are floating around. Maybe it’s that as more people and organizations go digital, there is just more digital communication going around. Or maybe it’s that with the addition of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other new sources of digital information, the potential places that messages could appear from have multiplied. Whatever the cause, and whenever it happened, I seem to have crossed some critical threshold of email overwhelm.
As a first step toward regaining some control, I’ve decided to go on a ruthless ‘unsubscribe’ campaign. What has astonished me is how much unsubscribing there is to be done. Deals from that monthly-club-purveyor? Toast. Newsletter from that consulting firm I once partnered with? Gone. Updates from my travel luggage provider? ‘bye. Updates from an executive search form? No more. Zen-sounding come-ons for mind-body-balance retreats? no more. Even updates from various professional organizations? You know, I can live without those…. and the list goes on. I just can’t believe how much routine receiving and deleting I’ve been doing. And to be clear, this is not spam. This is all stuff that I once upon a time must have expressed some interest in.
Yes, email is cost-effective and can be a great way to connect to interested users. But at some point, it just gets to be all too much…
Comments on coping strategies most welcome!