Friday, March 09, 2007

Emails (Part 3)

Remember my previous entries on Emails? In the second one I suggested the reason people have so many emails is that they don't read their emails fully, thus causing a chain reaction of otherwise redundant emails.

I came across these articles on emails and thought of another possible reason. (The first article lists the 12 steps to getting over an email addiction, and the second humourously explains why those 12 steps won't work.) Perhaps these people subconsciously purposely send nonsensical replies to emails in an attempt to get more emails. If that person is an email addict than it would be the same as the alcoholic who finds reasons to go past the liquor store, or the gambling addict who's wonderings seem to lead them past the casino. When you have an addiction you want to feed it. When you have an email addiction it gets satisfied when you check your inbox and see new messages in it for you.

I know I am somewhat addicted to email, but I'm getting over it. I receive email at work and at home. At work it's usually work related, so not too exciting. Nothing to get addicted to there. However, I do have a reputation for being quick with my updates. If someone tells me "The link on page X is now" I would have it fixed pretty fast. So I usually check my messages as soon as they come in. It's not an addiction; it's a reputation to maintain.

The other place I check is as home. Back in the day, a few months ago, I would get home and check my mail and I might have one message in my inbox. Even that wasn't too exciting usually. I subscribe to a few email lists, so most of my daily emails would be from that. Not too exciting. But every now and then it might be from a friend. Especially if I was expecting one. If I emailed someone, and knew they usually took 2 days to reply, on the second day I would check my mail more often. Frequency of checks would increase until either A) I got the email, or B) I gave up waiting. It's waiting for that sort of email that gets you addicted.

But then something happened. Spam. When it first started I would check my inbox and it would say "25 new messages." and I would be all like "WOW! 25 new messages! Boy, am I popular!" Then I would look and it would be all spam. After a while of this I just expect a full inbox with nothing but spam.

So at work my incoming emails aren't rewarding enough to develop an addiction, and at home I've become cynical. Email addiction: cured.

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