Posted by: nickgerlich | October 5, 2007

Monkey On My Back

There once was a time when work and personal life were simple. In this distant historical era, people either sent you mail, called you, or paid you a visit. In either regard, our interactions with other humans were quite manageable, and still left us with time to live our lives.

But, oh, what a tangled web we hailed, when first we started to email.

E-Mail It has been about 15 years since I got pulled into the riptide of email. I have not seen the shoreline since.

My Inbox at my WT account contains over 3300 messages since January 2006 (when we launched the new email client). These are legitimate messages, all of which have been responded to in short order. All of the spam, promising everything from cheap meds to penny stock riches and enhanced reproductive prowess, has already been deleted. One of these days I need to do some housecleaning over there.

And then there are the two primary personal email accounts I maintain for all of my non-school interests. I have a lot going on in my life, so I have to stay on top of those accounts. And let us not forget all the coursemail boxes in WTClass…one for each class, as well as the “global” one that allows access to all, but also the option of sending “Personal” mail. I have had about 300 emails in my courses in 6 weeks.

It makes my head spin sometimes.

You see, when school is in session, I try to keep an ever mindful eye to my Inboxes 7 days a week. We live 24/7 lives, so our online courses demand constant attention. You expect it, and so do I. But sometimes that monkey on my back starts digging his nails into my skin.

So I was instantly pleased to read in USA Today that an increasing number of firms are now declaring E-Mail Free Fridays. Never mind the Dockers and polo shirts; the goal is to force a little old-school interaction.

I am not going to start skipping Fridays from henceforth. I just want to give this thing a try. Maybe you should, too. See if you can get through the rest of the day without sending or reading another email. Go ahead. I dare you.

And if you need me, give me a ring. As my TV idol Frasier Crane always said, “I’m listening.”

Dr “…But The Bloggings Will Continue!” Gerlich


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