Thursday, July 30, 2009

Email and Technology

I have had my personal email account with Yahoo! since I was a freshman in college, which is fine. The only thing is it is not related to my current name (unless Ray wants to divorce me, and that ain't happening) and I have had it for so long, the amount of emails I get to that account daily is CRAZY. There are days when I stay on top of it, and days where I just don't. And then I blink, and I have over 100 emails logged into that account, sitting and waiting for some sort of attention.

The closing keynote at the Blogher conference talked about unplugging and doing certain things to stay on top of things like email. The one lady speaking said she declares email bankruptcy on the first day of the month. She files all those old emails away into a monthly folder and moves on.

I should totally do that. Except I am thinking of doing it weekly. And if I haven't gotten to it, it doesn't get moved, it gets deleted.

And these aren't emails from friends or family, I tend to see these come across and answer them immediately. It's all the other emails - the Kraftfood emails that hold the recipe I want to try, or the PR pitch from someone wanting to send me something that might interest me or my readers. Or it's the emails for Twitter, saying someone new is following me. Or a coupon for Gap. Or a sale at Lowes Foods.

The other thing about technology is unplugging. As you can probably guess, Ray and I spend a lot of time on computers, whether it is my laptop at work or at home, as well as on our iPhones. I never just sit at a traffic light anymore. I Twitter, or check email, or check the weather.

I jokingly texted (is that a word?) Ray while I was in the session at the conference and told him we should have a turn off technology night once a week. He often brings my laptop into bed with him (his laptop will only work with a mouse, and it is kind of hard to work in bed with a mouse and mouse pad). I am often checking email or doing schoolwork in the evenings as soon as the kids are in bed. He laughed at the suggestion, as being a Real Estate agent running his own company means he is constantly attached to his phone and his computer.

But I think turning off electronics for one night a week would work for me as the weekends I could do without. For Ray, it is a little harder since the weekends are really when he gets a ton of calls. And if he unplugs on the weekends, it would just mean his weeks will be more packed.

Any suggestions? Who "unplugs" in their house? I am thinking I want this to be for the whole family, where we all unplug from electronics such as TV and iPods. But we shall see.


Martha said...

I have thought about the same thing many times. There's no question I'm addicted and I often think I might need a
little detox to get reprioritized.

SJ said...

I totally need to unplug. Especially from email. It gets way too crazy and out of control way to fast, so I feel your pain.

If you figure something out - let me know. I'm thinking about powering down on the weekends....

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

I have a schedule for being online. I feel childish for having had to enact that, but I found myself hopping on and off the computer all damned day long. It was ridiculous. Now, I am finding myself checking in via my phone and I will need to slap myself around again.

Anonymous said...

This is the 1st thing you should stop doing for your sake, passengers, & other drivers. :)

"I never just sit at a traffic light anymore. I Twitter, or check email, or check the weather."

bernthis said...

I am the worst one to give that advice as I am busy trying to get back on my financial feet as the result of my divorce. I do the time b/w when my kid gets home and putting her to bed to stay unplugged as much as I can. I'm not always successful but I want to give her as much of me as I an and still be able to put food on the table.