You’ve not got mail


It started at work
then I brought it home,
but the paradox of ‘unsubscribing’
is I feel more alone.

Beleaguered at work, by the 30 to 50 emails which would land in Big Bold letters in my inbox, as soon as I left my screen; It felt like I was constantly running to stand still.

And then this summer I noticed how many of them were unsolicited invites: to stuff I didn’t want to attend, or things I wasn’t interested in. The time taken to open and delete them, meant I wasn’t seeing the wood for trees.

So routinely and systematically,, I began ‘unsubscribing’ from everything I didn’t actively want to know about or be part of.

Sometimes it’s easy – you have been unsubscribed thankyou. Sometimes it’s hard – please login and update your mailing preferences. Occasionally it’s impossible and the link doesn’t work (damn, spam).

But the amazing thing is I now sometimes enjoy entire periods of 5 to 10 mins with no email at all! No distraction, no anxiety… But also less adrenalin.

At home, having done the same, I can go the best part of a day with no email. Great!

Err not entirely. Unless I remind myself otherwise, I feel bereft – a little sad and alone in the world. The good news is, I can now occasionally discipline myself to put my phone down – for entire minutes on end!

Ok I feel a bit less ‘interesting’ without bursting inboxes and the constant drip drip drip of new mail. But with less constant distraction. I now raise my eyes from my screens more; to blink and focus on real people again.

Activities, have become possible – like strumming my dusty ukulele, listening to long forgotten music or practicing a bit of Français or Italiano. A reminder of life before Blackberries and iPhones.

Ho hum. I miss the buzz though… But hey – there’s always social media!

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