First, I do something. It's always something seemingly harmless. I apply for something important. I email a person who I'd like to talk to. I sign up for the hourly official penguin newsletter. All normal, healthy investments of time. Then, I frolic about, thinking to myself "I can internet! I have this interneting thing in the bag! I'm inter-lectual!" My day continues on as normal. I read a few favorite blogs, I drink a few glasses of water, I try to incorporate the word "perspicacious" into everyday conversation, I make a few awkward and inappropriate comments on various Facebook walls...you know, just stuffz. By the time I go to bed at night I'm thinking "Email, you made my day awesome. I'm going to make an 'I HEART EMAIL' shirt. I'm going to wear it to the mall. Everyone will be jealous. Goodnight, email."
|Oh, email. I love you, email.|
Pretty soon, a few days have passed. I think to myself "I should check that one thing" but I don't actually follow through on that impression. I kind of get sidetracked. Of course, being me, a few more days go by. Suddenly, I haven't checked that email thing in several weeks. All of my important applications, all of my conversations, all of my hourly newsletters...suddenly, they evoke a strange feeling in me. The word "hourly" gives me a weird cringy feeling deep within my being. What made me think I could handle an hourly newsletter? Penguins? What?! I don't even LIKE penguins! They're creepy, and they live in the cold, and nothing should be that adorable!
I get this odd sensation. Not quite guilt. Not quite apprehension. I call it "crap, I bet when I check my email, I'll have things I need to do. THINGS."
Inbox: 256 messages
From: email@example.com Subject: EARN 328974kajillion dollars!@
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Breeding patterns of penguins
From: email@example.com Subject: ...Are you dead? email me back.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: An Egg-tastic ice-capade!
From: email@example.com Subject: Yo, do this or you out, girl.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Solving the flight crisis
From: email@example.com Subject: Penguin feather fashion 101
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Penguincide-we care
From: email@example.com Subject: Upgrade your inbox, fool.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: ...Um...there IS a delete button
From: email@example.com Subject: Hey, answer in ten and come chill!
Page: 1 Skip to page: 1, 2, 3, 4...23
I look at this and I cringe. So...read the email. Right. This is the point where my enhanced endurance kicks in and I'm all "alright email. Let's do this."
Penguins: breeding, educated about!
Friend: ignored out of embarrassment!
Penguins: so cute!
College: form completed!
Penguins: flight crisis, noted!
Penguins: fashion forward!
Email service: ignored!
Email service: double ignored!
Taylor Lautner: WAHHHAHAHIEONG!
Man, I am on a roll. That only took me twenty minutes! Awesome! I am a capable person! I am educated about penguin affairs! I am ready to take on the....wait...how many more pages? Um...well...gee. One page of email has been taken care of...I think that's pretty good. In fact, I'm hungry. Can't check email on an empty stomach, now, can I? And off I go to make dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets.
The next day, being all email-conscientious and whatnot, I decide to apply for some things, subscribe to another newsletter about current events, and you know what? Hey, Facebook, is there a way to be notified by email whenever anyone does anything on you that vaguely affects me? There is? Well heck, sign me up!
Days pass, weeks pass, and one day, I get that feeling again...that "awwww man. EMAIL." feeling.
Click, click, click...SHOOTDANG, YOU'RE KIDDING ME.
Inbox: 638 messages
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Obscure president assassinated-act now!
From: email@example.com Subject: Maybe you want to apply for this too
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Krill is good for eating!
From: email@example.com Subject: FREE UNICORN!!!!
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: This person just said this thing about you
From: email@example.com Subject: Worried about you. Speak to me.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Massive explosion-sign explosion petition!
From: email@example.com Subject: A penguin Hanukkah
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: This may have something to do with you.
From: email@example.com Subject: Expensive books that you need to have
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Iranian babies fed bad milk. ZOMG!
Page:1 Skip to page: 1, 2, 3, 4...58
I stare at the computer screen for a moment, daunted by the immense task ahead of me. I curse myself for not having finished my email-management several weeks ago. I question my need for penguin news. I promptly decide that I require penguin news in order to live. Sighing, I gather up all the vestiges of focus floating around in my body and attack with surprising relish.
Current events: president, cared about!
Application: heck yes, I want to apply for that!
Penguins: krill, a good diet indeed!
Unicorn: virus, attained!
Facebook: oh no she didn't!
Friend: assurances, offered!
Current events: explosion, oh noes!
Penguins: culture, accepted!
Facebook: does not relate to me at all!
College: books, ordered!
Current events: NOT THE BABIES!!
And like a coiled viper, she strikes! On to page 2! You hear that, email? Take that! We are no longer friends, and look at me kick your butt. Bet you didn't see that one coming, eh, email? Bet you're shaking in your emaily-boots. Bet you're calling your email mommy and--Hey I'm hungry. Can't check email on an empty stomach, right? Past experience has taught me that much. Well! Chicken nuggets, ahoy!
And the next morning, I think to myself "Hey, I should probably get more email stuff going here! Newsletters!! I bet there's a newsletter about pharmaceutical malpractice! Yay!" and I DO IT. I SIGN UP. BECAUSE I'M A FOOL. Eventually this whole process degenerates into guilt and denial. I don't email people back because I'm scared of reminding them that they emailed me to begin with, and also that would remind them that I have a level of responsibility comparable to a five-year-old boy who refuses to bathe. I pretend that my email isn't a problem. I grieve over that ever-growing pile of data, filling a tiny corner of the internet with useless junk that even I don't care about enough to read. At this point, I have two correspondences that I actually keep track of, one being an important person out of state, the other, an important person out of the country. I brace myself on appointed days when I know they will email, and dive into the sea of endless crap, typing and clicking as fast as my brain and dexterity will allow.
At this point, I even dread opening my email inbox. It taunts me. One day, one glorious day, I shall vanquish this foe. Until then, I'll probably just keep surfing the internet aimlessly, signing up for newsletters that pertain to absolutely nothing I want to know anything about. Kind of like this blog. Suck it, emailz.