In preparation for my anticipated technology detox last December, I had started furiously unsubscribing from email newsletters and mailing lists to reduce my digital clutter. When I found myself suddenly unemployed again though, I decided to put the detox on hold, but I kept up with the unsubscribing since I was already on a roll.
I’m pretty good about keeping my inbox minimal, but that’s only because I have Gmail open all day so I can read, sort or delete emails immediately. I hate signing in and seeing dozens of unread emails, so my method has been to check it so frequently that it never has the chance to pile up. While this is fine because my line of work requires me to be in front of the computer all day, it’s probably one of those habits that causes little knots in my shoulders without me even realizing it.
With email (and especially Facebook, but I’m not even going there), there’s just always the feeling that you’re missing out on something or falling behind if you aren’t checking it all the time. When Grammy (that one’s for you Joe) was my age, the mailman came twice a day and that was it. Unimportant things weren’t given a false sense of urgency.Things waited until tomorrow. In our digital age though, everything and everyone is accessible all the time, and while this is amazing, it can be really stressful if you don’t manage it.
While my posts about tiny houses and incessant yoga practice might lead you to believe that I’m gearing up to join a commune of light workers in New Mexico and abandon all my worldly possessions, that’s not where this is going. As with everything in life, there’s a balance that needs to be kept and I’m just trying to find it. Clicking unsubscribe 15 times a day might seem like a nuisance at first but seeing the “Woohoo! You’ve read all the important messages in your inbox.” message from Gmail is definitely a better way to start the day than a long list of newsletters that you probably didn’t even sign up for in the first place.