‘Don’t miss out.’ ‘New meetup group.’ ‘10 things you need to know.’ ‘How not to be a sucker.’ ‘Triple points.’ ‘Clinton speech.’
Not a single one of these emails is from a real person but there they are, sitting at the top of one of my inboxes, unread.
Man gets four years jail for guessing someone’s password and reading emails
They will all remain that way until I select all and press delete.
I have a Hotmail address, six different Outlook addresses, a Gmail address, a work address and three different bespoke website email addresses.
Across my 12 email addresses, I have exactly 29,453 unread messages at the time of writing. It’s probably a few higher by now.
It’s not quite as many as the 110,000 that CNet’s Dan Ackerman has but still, that can’t be healthy.
And according to YouGov, I’m the weird one.
Around 70% of professional emails are read within six seconds of their arrival and only 6% of people have over 1,000 unread emails in their inbox, YouGov US says.
Around a quarter have between one and nine emails and 22% are ‘Inbox Zero’ advocates.
This is when there are zero unread emails in your inbox.
Depending on your view about these people, they’re either incredibly efficient or a sociopath. Or both.
How many unread emails do you have?
Turn around and ask your colleagues, your fellow students, whomever. Journalists are not ones for inbox zero.
To maintain inbox zero, that implies that you will have at least glanced at everything in there.
Email, even with all of its magical filters, folders and all sorts of coding wizardry, is saturated with people wanting to sell you things, tell you things and invite you to a rubbish event on the other side of the country.
But people exchange phone numbers, Twitter handles and Facebook URLs now rather than emails.
There are 4.63bn global email accounts from 2.67bn email users. People globally only average 1.7 accounts each.
So why the f*** do I need 12?
I don’t… but I still have them (I use[d] the rationale that I would have different email accounts for different things. They are all filled with spam).
But there’s a more pertinent question about what anyone uses personal email accounts for: Why do you even need emails for anything but work chat or discount codes?
Answer honestly: when was the last time a friend sent a thoughtful email rather than a Whatsapp, Snapchat or Facebook messenger (or X, or Y or Z)?
I looked: it was on 20 July 2015.
If people want you, they won’t send emails. WhatsApp groups have replaced group email chains and Snapchat has replaced funny friend chats.
Maybe I don’t read all my emails because there’s mostly nothing worth reading.
But I’ll still keep them. Every few months I’ll use Ctrl+A then delete and the whole process can start again.
Another 1,000 emails-a-day sent by a machine will hit inbox landfill and they’ll still make an impression on data allowances, even if no-one’s around to read them.
Want to fill up my inbox some more? Alex.Hudson@metro.co.uk. That’s the one address I do keep in check.