Yesterday, with just a couple of exceptions, every email I received was an email I wanted
There were messages from friends and coworkers; I’m always eager to hear from them. There was one message from the library telling me my checked-out books are due; I appreciate the reminder. And there was a message from Amazon.com telling me that an author I like has released a new book. I like hearing about that.
But for the most part, I no longer receive emails from Kohl’s about their online sales or from Henry Fields about the free shipping on flowering trees. I never used the recipes from Stoneyfield Farms, so I won’t miss their newsletters each week, and I don’t even shop at Victoria’s Secret. I bought a gift card there. Once. Do I have to get their daily emails?
Actually, I don’t. There were a lot of emails I never read cluttering up my InBox each day. So recently, I went through a week’s worth of junk email — all the ads and newsletters I had apparently signed up for at one point – or not — and following the yellow brick road of “Unsubscribe” I cut them off. Now, with the exception of a few stragglers, my InBox is filled with only the messages I care about.
Streamlining my electronic life is just the next step in my year of “empty.”
Since I spend hours each week on my laptop, my virtual space needs the same intentionality as my life offline. Just because it’s measured in bytes and pixels doesn’t mean I don’t waste time with it or create idols out of it.
I’m sure I signed up for some of the email newsletters I now longer get because I wanted to be the “first to know.” The advertisements and sale flyers that cluttered my inbox created the same sort of discontent, covetousness, and envy that I try to avoid in television commercials. And the hundreds of work documents, downloaded pictures, and other old files I deleted, why do I insist on hanging on to these things?
Although cleaning up my online presence didn’t protect me from hackers
, it is one more way to protect me from myself and to prepare me for the kingdom.