Monday, December 10, 2012

The Inbox

So, y'all know I'm into studying the different ways people learn . . . the different ways people think . . . the different ways people approach the world . . . figuring out which of these ways are natural to them and which are learned behaviors . . . which are gifts to build on and which may, essentially, be the result of the Fall and need to be resisted . . .

Which brings me to my husband's email inbox.  I had occasion to see it recently.  You know the little number by the word "Inbox" that tells you how many unread emails are sitting in there waiting for your perusal?  His number was over 12,000.  Seriously.  And remember, those were just the unread ones -- there were more in there that he HAD read.  I nearly fell off the couch.

He explained to me that this particular email account was kind of intended for this purpose (he has another account for his job search emailing, another for his fantasy football communications).  This is the email address he puts on the various forms that you have to fill out where you know your address is going to be sold to people.  And he said it's a waste of time to delete those emails every day; the inbox has no limit to what it will hold, so there's no reason to delete anything.

I asked why he didn't unsubscribe to some of these lists so he didn't get their emails anymore if he had no intention of reading them.  He said something about the unsubscribing process letting the sender know that the email was an active account . . . okay, I'll take his word on that.  But I was still stunned.  I strongly suspect this is a right-brained thing (my right-brained eldest has over a thousand unread emails in her inbox -- mostly FB notifications).

But contrast this with my email behavior.  When I open my email, the first thing I do is hit the little check box on mail I have no intention of reading and delete them.  And if there is someone I keep getting emails from that I don't want, I unsubscribe.  When I know I'm done with the information in an email, I delete it.  Or if I suspect I may want it someday, I move it to a "Save" folder, but it does not remain in my face in the inbox.  I even delete the emails out of Spam almost every day.  If my inbox (or sent box, for that matter) has more than twenty-some emails, I get the urge to purge.  It's clutter.  It stresses me.  It must go.

And yes, I recognize that I'm probably more absurd than he is.

Yet, there's a part of me that thinks that, if hubby were to just manage his emails the way I do for a month, he would see how refreshing it is to not have all that clutter hanging around -- how freeing! -- and he would be motivated then to do it my way.  Mm-hmm.  He probably thinks the same about me.

Ah, well.  Vive la diffĂ©rence.  How boring would life be if we were all the same.

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