Thursday, 10 March 2011

Inbox of shame

Someone was telling me the other day about how difficult it is to raise children in the age of access to modern technology and media. It set me thinking about some of the things that are different for me today from when I was a child.

One of them is my Inbox of Shame.

I'm sure that other people's inboxes are full of vital and fascinating emails. Mine is full of emails to myself. I used to write notes to myself on paper, with a pen, sometimes even in a notebook. Now, many of the things I need to remember exist only electronically. I'm so often out and about and internet access is so prevalent in the places that I work, that I send myself emails all the time. I think I rank as my own most frequent emailer (which is sad in a way).

I'm not silly about it. I don't write letters to myself (well only occasionally) but the subject lines say it all:

"a link"

"another link"

"More links"

"Useful article on health journalism"

"For work tweeting"

"Do I need to go to this workshop?"

"For Mr Blithe"

"Possibly interesting blog"

"Have I read this yet?"

When more than say, ten emails in my inbox are from myself, I try to clear out the backlog and put everything where it belongs. A lot gets binned, but then I used to bin or recycle a lot of paper too. Perhaps I need to stop thinking of it as my Inbox of Shame and think of it as the inbox of a busy but environmentally virtuous person. Let's go with that.

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