Yes, you read that right. My e-mail inbox is scary. Sorry – scratch that – all six e-mail inboxs are scary. Six. SIX.
But there was one e-mail inbox that was particularly terrifying. With over 900 e-mails, 868 of which were unread, I was terrified of this thing. Every so often I would go in and delete just enough to clear up some megabytes so more e-mails could come in. I usually check e-mails on my iPhone (iPhone: noun, appendage similar to heart valve, brain stem, etc.) so even though I’d delete it on my iPhone, it would sit dormant in my inbox.
So, back to this evil inbox and the poor, sad e-mail address. This address is my “friends and family” address. So when they send funny links, or a written hello, this is where it ends up. This is also where the following other e-mails end up: Kate Spade, J.Crew, American Film Institute, Career Builder, HauteLook, RueLaLa, Monster, GreatSchools, University Alumni Announcements, Twitter, Rent the Runway, Dictionary.com, iTunes, and about a million other sites, most of which I don’t use anymore. And the worst part is, I NEVER read these e-mails. 868 e-mails that I’ve never read, falling into the ether. Sales, updates, news, announcements. I don’t read them.
What happened to e-mail? Why is our inbox suddenly a black abyss for annoying “ONE DAY SALE!” messages? As a firm advocate of written communication (tweets and texts don’t count), what the hell happened to my inbox?
As I type this genius article, I unsubscribe from these e-mails. From J.Crew and Kate Spade (I’ll learn about your sales via Twitter, but I still love you), Dictionary.com (my vocabulary is fine, thanks), and GreatSchools (I have no excuse for this).
From now on, I want e-mails I actually read. I want to see friends saying hello, articles I will actually read, blogposts from my favorite websites. I never, ever want to see another sale announcement. Because an inbox that scares you isn’t refined. 868 unread isn’t refined. But meaningful e-mails that I take the time to read – that feels good.