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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer


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on losing all my spare time to my inbox

Rich man's burden, this. It's just that I've been finding that I'm losing a lot of time lately just to managing the flow of messages through my Gmail inbox. I have innumerable filters set up for my various lists and such, and since my time is at a premium right now I actually seldom get a chance to read most of my favourite feeds or list e-mail anyway. I'm also using the excellent new Gmail priority inbox system, which has been super helpful in separating my non-essential e-mail from my essential e-mail. But I just find that whenever I still have unread or undealt-with e-mail in my inbox, I become drawn to sit down at the computer and try to clear some of it out. And there's at least a dozen really important tasks related to e-mail in my Inbox that I should be working on, but whenever I look at my Inbox I start to try to read and deal with whatever's left over instead.

I'm starting to feel like the tail is wagging the dog, here. Instead of doing productive work on my computer I'm playing with my goddamned e-mail. And instead of doing constructive work around the house or exercising, I'm sitting at the computer to try to deal with some of my e-mail. And I don't even have a damn straight job right now! Imagine if I did!!!

I have a handful of friends who have committed Facebook suicide because they've found themselves so utterly consumed by it; lately, I've felt like committing e-mail suicide. I also know from experience that many of "the kids" out there don't even check their e-mail or have functioning e-mail addresses anymore. It's all Facebook and text for them, period. It's so funny that e-mail might be becoming an obsolete means of communication for us old folks out here. And I'm not even 40 yet. I do, however, find myself wondering what the hell we did before e-mail. My wife and I both are attached to our Inboxes at the hip, it's so lame.
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