snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Non-UL Chat > Techno-Babble

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08 January 2019, 02:55 PM
DawnStorm's Avatar
DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
Join Date: 11 March 2003
Location: Montgomery County, MD
Posts: 16,915
Crash Who here has heard of "Inbox Infinity"?

Here's the Atlantic article: https://www.theatlantic.com/technolo...finity/579673/

In the author's opinion, this approach is better than the unachievable goal of a completely empty Inbox.
I can agree with that--I get so many emails, both personal and professional. It's easy enough to delete the ones I don't need/don't apply to me, but a completely empty Inbox is a Sisyphean task.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08 January 2019, 03:11 PM
Seaboe Muffinchucker's Avatar
Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
Join Date: 30 June 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 18,951
Glasses

I read the headline as "inbox infidelity," and wondered whether it was about people who carry on affairs via email.

Or possibly people who have two email addresses, one of which is secret from the other.

Seaboe
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08 January 2019, 03:33 PM
GenYus234's Avatar
GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 26,560
Default

Do we really need names for everything? Can't we just tell people that they shouldn't try to always empty their inbox if it is causing them stress?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08 January 2019, 03:43 PM
ASL's Avatar
ASL ASL is offline
 
Join Date: 04 July 2003
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 5,909
Bang Head

Surely most of the author's 400 e-mails a day are spam, or at least recurs with certain patterns that would make it easier to sort out the chaff? Does she not have a spam filter? Has she not heard of things like auto-filtering (so that, say, the routine bank statements/auto-pay receipt notification/whatever don't clobber the inbox)?

I get it can be hard, but it's harder when you're not taking full advantage of the technology. Seriously, she writes mockingly of "strange rituals" that the "inbox zero" folks are supposed to engage in, but never once do the words "filter" or "spam" appear in her diatribe. What qualifies her to even write this article, other than being terrible at managing her correspondence? Does she have to encourage others to do the same?

Absolutely terrible.

IMHO.

But if you tell me what your desired end state is, I could probably make a case for her "solution" being objectively terrible, unless the desired end state is frustration and/or miscommunication.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08 January 2019, 04:25 PM
DawnStorm's Avatar
DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
Join Date: 11 March 2003
Location: Montgomery County, MD
Posts: 16,915
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Do we really need names for everything?

Yes! Everything has to have a catchy name--makes its identification much easier.
Hmmm, we might want to set aside a whole month for this one.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08 January 2019, 05:14 PM
dfresh dfresh is offline
 
Join Date: 11 November 2005
Location: Oxford, PA
Posts: 4,385
Default

Catchy Name Syndrome (CNS) is a major concern in our society, since it allows media to quickly let you know that there is something else for you to pay attention to, and hopefully feel bad about. Please help us to cure CNS by sending oodles of cash.

But yeah, just use a good filter. Or unsubscribe to email senders. My wife gets hundreds of emails a day, but won't use filters since "there might be something important", then misses real emails from actual humans since it was buried among hundreds of ads.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08 January 2019, 06:22 PM
erwins's Avatar
erwins erwins is online now
 
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,328
Default

I think the author is a freelancer, and speaks of other freelancers having similar problems. I can see not being able to easily filter the emails coming in in that situation, and having lots of emails coming in that may need a glance to see if they require opening or response.

I just started a project of trying to manage my inbox at work, and I have some of the issues she talks about.

I already practice "inbox infinity" with my personal email. Because the emails are previewed in my phone notifications, if I don't need to do anything with it, I swipe away the notification, which does not open or delete the email. If I do need to respond, I usually do so pretty quickly. So I have an enormous amount of unread emails in my inbox. But they don't cause any issues, and I don't tend to have anxiety about them.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08 January 2019, 06:50 PM
Dr. Winston O'Boogie's Avatar
Dr. Winston O'Boogie Dr. Winston O'Boogie is offline
 
Join Date: 23 February 2000
Location: Fox Lake, IL
Posts: 5,248
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfresh View Post
Catchy Name Syndrome (CNS) is a major concern in our society, since it allows media to quickly let you know that there is something else for you to pay attention to, and hopefully feel bad about. Please help us to cure CNS by sending oodles of cash.
And we know it's not real until it has a TLA.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08 January 2019, 06:52 PM
ASL's Avatar
ASL ASL is offline
 
Join Date: 04 July 2003
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 5,909
Reading

Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
I already practice "inbox infinity" with my personal email. Because the emails are previewed in my phone notifications, if I don't need to do anything with it, I swipe away the notification, which does not open or delete the email. If I do need to respond, I usually do so pretty quickly. So I have an enormous amount of unread emails in my inbox. But they don't cause any issues, and I don't tend to have anxiety about them.
Which is fine, no judgments here, but part of her "solution" includes using an auto-reply to advise people that she doesn't care to read or respond to all e-mails, even e-mails that may warrant a reply, and to please try something else if you really care to reach her. Works great for friends and family, but I wonder how that'd go over (even if she did reply eventually) to a perspective publisher or editor. Kind of like saying "I don't really need work, please contact someone else."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Winston O'Boogie View Post
And we know it's not real until it has a TLA.
This is kind of a threadjack. Maybe we should discuss in SLC?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08 January 2019, 07:41 PM
NobleHunter's Avatar
NobleHunter NobleHunter is offline
 
Join Date: 21 September 2005
Location: Peterborough, Ontario
Posts: 637
Default

I noticed her re-direct was also to lower bandwidth means of communication. All the other methods of could end up just as swamped as email if people actually bother to keep trying to reach her.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08 January 2019, 08:43 PM
erwins's Avatar
erwins erwins is online now
 
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,328
Default

I don't think she said exactly what her autorespond message is. She acknowledged that it would not be an excuse for a missed deadline, and wouldn't work for all jobs. She gave examples of others' messages, and an example of the kind of message one could send to friends and family. She talked about a message that sets expectations.

I think, regardless of what one thinks is ideal, communicating about what will actually happen is very important. For example, an autoresponse that says you don't have time to keep up with reading all emails, and that if the communication concerns: a job, an active project, or [other important category], you request that the person contact you in X alternate way, seems like it would serve a useful function. And even if a prospective employer won't be impressed with an auto-reply, they may be more impressed with instructions on how to effectively reach the person using an alternate method than if their [important category] email never got a response at all.

I would not use an auto-reply method, but my limited circle of family and friends generally knows how to reach me if they want a quick response. For me, my personal email is not that method -- at least not by itself. A heads up via text that an email is coming that requires a timely response works. I tend to treat email as more for things requiring documentation of some kind.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08 January 2019, 11:51 PM
Cervus's Avatar
Cervus Cervus is offline
 
Join Date: 21 October 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 21,188
Default

I get an average of 1-2 emails and 0 texts per day. I must be living off the grid more than I realized.

I do have a dedicated spam email for things that require signups, but I don't know when was the last time I even logged into it. I suppose if I ran my own business I would have more emails to respond to, but that's what filtering is for.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09 January 2019, 05:35 PM
DawnStorm's Avatar
DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
Join Date: 11 March 2003
Location: Montgomery County, MD
Posts: 16,915
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
I get an average of 1-2 emails and 0 texts per day. I must be living off the grid more than I realized.
You and me both.

I do get Nixle alerts on my phone, which can be annoying. Nixle is an alert system used by many state/local agencies to alert employees to various things like Some Department being closed because of no heat, or Some Rec Center not having any phone connection at the moment. It's mandatory for my job and is annoying....except when it tells me whether or not I get a snow day or an extra hour of sleep due to a delayed opening. And having it beats waiting around for the local stations to go through the List of Closings That Do Not Apply To Me, such as school closings. Because it really is all about me.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09 January 2019, 07:08 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust thorny locust is offline
 
Join Date: 27 April 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 9,799
Default

Well, I feel considerably better about the occasional state of my inboxes. I thought having accumulated less than two thousand that I hadn't gotten around to either storing or removing, over the course of a year and a half, was a lot. (It's down to roughly 200 right now. One of the Winter Projects.) And I do run my own business; though said business is a farm, which may attract fewer people expecting rapid replies.

And, if family and friends want to communicate by email, why not just get a separate email address only for such people? I never have much trouble clearing that box.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09 January 2019, 07:48 PM
erwins's Avatar
erwins erwins is online now
 
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,328
Default

We've recently been told we are switching email systems at work, which has stopped my previous efforts to sort emails. Apparently, we will lose almost everything. There is a way to save some things as text files, but no word yet on whether they can be imported into the new system. I guess I'll have to do a different kind of sorting once I know more about the switch.

I do use a separate email address for required sign ups. And both of my main emails have robust spam filters. It's true that I don't use filtering in other ways, but I don't need to. My way is really not a problem to me. I can easily find what I need. I'm not bothered by the big number of "unread" emails, so what is the virtue of that number being zero? (Just because an email is "unread" does not mean I am missing out by not having opened it.)

Last edited by erwins; 09 January 2019 at 07:53 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 10 January 2019, 03:26 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust thorny locust is offline
 
Join Date: 27 April 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 9,799
Default

Zero marked as unread I can, and do, get to really easily. All of those ~2000 had been at least glanced at, enough to tell whether I needed to do anything about them urgently.

The problem is that the result in my head of glancing at a lot of them was 'I ought to read that more thoroughly later and/or make a note in relevant place about that info' and/or 'I might (or might not) go to that meeting/deal with that survey/vote on that issue/call my Congresscritter/etc. but I'm not going to do it right this minute.' -- a lot of the accumulation is farm newsletters or links to them, and some of the rest is order shipping notifications, planning board issues, sale offers from companies I do sometimes order from, and so on: often a reply's not needed, but I might want to note some of the information someplace. And the thing might be time-sensitive, so I should delete it in a week or a month or whatever whether or not I did something about it, but when there's too much in there I start not getting around to checking whether a particular old email's only in there for that sort of reason. Now that I can flag in multiple colors I'm going to pick a color for 'this is only kept due to a dated event'; that should help some. (I already have more email folders on the sidebar than I really want to be dealing with.)
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Judge sides with "The Happytime Murders" after "Sesame Street" complaints Psihala Amusement Bark 5 01 June 2018 02:22 PM
School worksheet quizzed students on "boy toy," "trophy wife" and affairs Psihala NFBSK Gone Wild! 5 16 November 2017 02:30 PM
"You heard it here first": Man predicts Cubs World Series win in 1993 yearbook Psihala Amusement Bark 12 08 November 2016 10:39 AM
"Password" unseated by "123456" on SplashData's annual "Worst Passwords" list snopes Techno-Babble 32 04 February 2014 01:42 AM
SC Republican Fiercely Opposes "North American Union" and the "Amero" Bohemian Rhapsody in Blue Sightings 13 01 June 2008 12:46 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.