Today, I have spent, in aggregate, almost six (6) hours reading, sorting and deleting email messages.
Old email messages, new email messages, email messages that are neither old nor new, but somewhere in between. Ones that are important, ones that were important at the time and may be again in the future, and ones that caused me to (figuratively) scratch my head and say, "what the *$#!? was that about?"
I thought that I was getting buried under RSS feeds, and I am, but that problem is small compared to the unruly tangle of email mess hiding in my Outlook Express (stop laughing, you lot!) mailboxes. I guess it had really been getting out of hand, since:
- I deleted almost four and a half thousand messages from my trash folder;
- I finally beat my Sent Items folder down to one message, which I confess I have no idea what to do with; I either filed or deleted the other multi-hundreds;
- I created at least a dozen new folders for filing things in, on top of all of the ones I already had;
- and after all that, I still have about 600 unsorted, unfiled messages in my Inbox. It's late and I've given up for tonight, especially when faced with a couple of hundred from the same person.
This, my friends, is just a little over a year's worth, and let's not even talk about my two Yahoo accounts. Not that anyone ever emails the Ricardipus one, oh no [muffled sobbing].
I just hate to think how much time was consumed reading these things... to be conservative, let's say, oh, six thousand messages. At a (very, very conservative) estimate of 100 words each, that's 600,000 words of text. The equivalent of twenty good-sized Shakespeare plays, if the internet is to be believed. And that's not including the attachments. One email I received recently contained no less than 261 pages of background reading for this trip, and that's not counting the documents that were duplicated as French translations.
I can't help but think that I might be happier, and feel a little more educated, had I read Hamlet (again) and Othello and all the rest of them, instead of six thousand emails. Unfortunately, I would probably also have lost my job by now, so maybe great literature isn't the answer to everything after all.
I think I need to take a deep breath, get some fresh air, and not be sitting in front of a computer any longer, at least not tonight. Unfortunately, it's already long past dark and I really should be in bed, so here's a surrogate calming picture instead. I'm off to bed - don't email me until morning, please.