The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
There was a time when I looked forward to each and every email I received. I would open them one at a time, reading each one, and enjoying it. I would then either forward it to my friends, family, or delete the email. Emails were something to look forward to, as they seemed personal and gave a sense of purpose. Unfortunately, emails in the past five years, have become commercialized with competition for your eyes, your attention, and your time.
Most of the “spam” that people receive today is hardly spam at all, but things that they signed up for, visiting websites, subscribing to email lists, and getting plenty of information about any topic they wish to receive. For most of those email lists, subscribing and signing up for them, along with their information is completely free. For some other websites, they are trying to sell a product, or display products from an e-commerce store. Nowadays, very rarely does email come from anyone personal that we know anymore.
Social media networks have completely eliminated the need to write a personal email to anyone. Instead, we send private messages to each other or write on each other’s walls. We still tend to use email for business purposes, writing to our boss or co-workers, or sending a mass email out to the company, but when it comes to writing personal emails, it is not really a thing anymore. Personal email, however, is not so personal anymore, and has become the place where your inbox is now an advertiser and consumer realm with companies sending both junk and things that you actually want to buy.
The worst part about an email being an advertiser and consumer domain is that we have personally invited and made our email accounts a place for business simply by exchanging our email address with a company whose priorities are making money and selling to their consumers. My own email inbox has gotten so out of hand, that I skim through it, delete all the junk, and leave all the things that look interesting, but that I just do not have the personal time to dedicate anymore.
If I were to dedicate time and energy to reading every single article or link in all the emails that I am actually interested in reading, it would take me several months to get through every one of them. When websites contributed a newsletter of articles once a month or even every two weeks, it was easier to manage. Nowadays, websites have so many contributed articles, that they are capable of sharing dozens of articles and pieces of information each day. This has become an exhausting task for me to personally check my email and nowadays, the appeal of even opening my email, which has been an addiction ever since I have had access to the Internet and an email address, is completely gone.
I no longer get excited by receiving or checking email. I no longer look forward to any emails in my personal inbox and although I do not have the heart to bring myself to delete these emails that I do, in fact, want to read, I just find myself lacking the time and energy to dedicate reading them, because many of these emails require at least ten minutes or more. It is a catch 22: Sign up for emails that you DO want to receive and get them, but too many of them, or don’t sign up for any, and receive no information about things you want to read about.
When checking email feels like a full-time job, it becomes a boring task, and one that no one looks forward to. Unfortunately, the days of personal email are gone, of looking forward to checking email like it was a gift, and even replying to email because it meant a personal communication was being made. Nowadays, email has become a business for everyone looking to beat out the competition and gain your complete attention span. Email is not fun and giving out your email address is like handing over too much personal information.