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Archive for the ‘Email’ Category

I hate email.  I realize it has a place in our lives–there is no getting around it.  And really, it isn’t the email that I hate.  I am just sick and tired of receiving hundreds of emails or more per day in 4 different email accounts (at least), both professional and personal, with the expectation that every email is high priority and requires an immediate response.  Oh, and it’s not just email.  I also hate Facebook messages.  Even worse, I hate Facebook invites and events.  Let me break this rant down for you (especially those of you who feel compelled to communicate with me via the Internets).

I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a hairy, bitter, angry old man.  I’m Gen X.  But I remember when (OMG, I can’t believe I just wrote that) phones were attached TO THE WALL.  I remember when YOU COULDN’T LEAVE A GOD DAMN MESSAGE to save your life because voice mail didn’t exist and email was a dream (which turned into a nightmare).  I remember that life went on, shit got done, and no one expected you to be available 24/7.  I miss those days . . . and I want to reclaim them, at least in part, as follows:

Personal email:  Jesus H. Christ.  How in the fuck arrogant are you to believe that just because you sent me an email, I should drop everything and respond to you?  What makes you think I received or saw your email in a world of spam blockers, viruses, fishing schemes, bogus offers, porn, chain mail, raunchy jokes, and a whole lot of other bullshit.  NEWSFLASH:  email is unreliable, burdensome, and overwhelming.  Email has become the proverbial “Little Boy Who Cried Wolf.”

Another thing:  I cannot name a single friend who has not, at some time in our relationship, sent me email that was not only not urgent but verged on spam (at best).  In fact, I get a lot of spam-ish emails from my friends and family.  So, not only has email become the “Little Boy Who Cried Wolf,” but so the fuck have you.  I do not have the time or energy to sort through my email constantly to try to weed out the important email from the garbage.  And so much of it is, indeed, garbage.

Professional email:  Because of my profession, I admit that I have to mind my work email like a hawk.  On the other hand, I need to explain that in my profession, the stakes are high enough that my clients usually call for almost all urgent matters and use email to follow up and to send information and documentation that supplements and does not replace our telephone conversations.  My clients understand that email is, as mentioned above, unreliable, burdensome, and overwhelming and that it should be used as a secondary source of communication, not a primary source.  I make sure they understand it from the beginning of our relationship.  Why haven’t I made it clear to my friends and family?

Facebook:  I do not receive email updates from Facebook.  I already receive enough bullshit in my email to keep me occupied for decades.  I do not need an email everytime your kid craps his pants, your boss pisses you off, or you comment on how fantastic I look on the beaches of Bali.  As a result, I do not receive an email notification when you comment on my status, update your profile picture, post something on my wall, or send an invitation to me and 2,458.4 of your favorite friends.  In addition, I rarely check the events on my Facebook calendar any more because so many of them are blanket invitations to events that are of no interest to me and which are extended to a whole host of unsavory individuals that I do not know or even like. 

And another thing:  I may be guilty of posting status updates once or more a day.  It takes 13 seconds and can be done from my computer or my phone.  But, do not be confused.  Just because I posted an update does not mean that I have read every other status update from all of my Facebook “friends” throughout the day.  I don’t necessary know that you posted an update about your pet fish dying or that you posted a link to some cute cat video on my wall or that it’s your god damn birthday.  Sorry.

Down/Free Time:  Everyone deserves personal time for personal interests.  Just because I am not working does not mean that I am going to fill my spare time by weeding through my email or my Facebook wall/messages.  Just because I post a status update on Facebook does not mean that I have the time, the energy, or the desire to dig through my email and messages.  I know it is hard to believe, but I have other interests than you and your email.  I need to run errands, pee, call my mother, wash my underpants, feed the dogs, exercise.  For godssakes, is it too much to ask to have 5 minutes to masturbate or is your email about ordering Girl Scout cookies from your brat more important?  [N.B.  Girl Scout cookies, while delicious, are not more important then spending quality time with my genitals or those of other people.]

Telephone calls:  If I have given you my phone number, it is because you hold a special place in my personal or professional life.  I expect you to use it.  I didn’t give it to you so that you can send me an email or a note on Facebook.  Do you really think you hold the same place as the illegal pharmaceutical salesperson that sent me an email about my sexual dysfunction and the inadequate size of my penis?  I hope not.

To clarify:  Although I hate email and electronic means of correspondence, I use it.  Regularly.  So what, then, is the point of this diatribe?

LISTEN TO ME AND LISTEN GOOD:  If you send me an email or an invitation or post something on my wall because you need or want me and I have not responded within a reasonable time, pick up the phone and call me.  If you do not have my phone number, there is probably a very good reason.  We just aren’t ready for that type of commitment.  Sorry. 

Rest assured, however, that  I am not abandoning email and Facebook (and other forms of Internet communcation) completely.   I am simply reclaiming my life and making it clear that I am not going to be a slave to Internet nonsense any longer.  You have been warned.

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