New Year? You’re up! My first resolution is to go Valentine’s Day shopping on January 2nd.
That means I’ve been thinking about resolutions. Let’s break it down.
The word is comprised of the Latin Greek words “re” (do over) and “solut” (ancient greeting) and “ions” (small particles).
I decided why wait so I already made one and having been acting upon it. And it has been a lot of fun.
My resolution is to reclaim my inbox by unsubscribing to everything. I’ve only been doing it one day and what a difference it has made. I got the idea when the number of unread messages hit 10,000. Then I spent a couple hours digging through them trying to find stuff that actually mattered.
Here’s some thoughts and observations after working on my resolution for one whole day.
- Groupon had a cool unsubscribe page where you could “punish” the guy who thought you would enjoy their emails. With great malice I clicked the “Punish Derrick” button. This played a video of a guy pushing him out of a chair and throwing a styrofoam cup at him. Then they give you the chance to feel guilty, make him feel better, and cancel the unsubscribe. It was cute but it did not work on me. Goodbye.
- I unsubscribed from Barrack Obama. It’s nothing personal, mind you. Your messages are, in fact, part of my inbox clutter. When done I was presented with a “donation” button which is one of the reasons I left in the first place.
- All of the emails (so far) contained clickable “Unsubscribe” links. Usually in a soft gray color so they’ll blend seamlessly into the background.
- Some unsubscribe actions only took a single click. Those were my favorite.
- Some required you to login and “manage your preferences” and navigate a maze to get to the unsubscribe cheese. This should be illegal. I had to use the “lost password” function just to get in so I could leave!
- Some sites promised that I was “removed from all future mailings.” Talk about endorphins!
- Some sites claimed they’d need up to 10 days to process the request. I hope these sites get hit by a bus.
- Most sites were able to handle the process in a single session of clicks. Some, however, followed up with one last email “confirming” that I had unsubscribed, as if leaving their wonderful content represented a security risk to my existence. I’m adventurous so I’m willing to take that chance.
- One website, MoveOn.org, sent a final email claiming I was permanently unsubscribed (not counting this email) and imploring me, “Please don’t go!” This is the newsletter equivalent of getting down on your knees and begging. Drama much?
I should mention that I didn’t unsubscribe from any of my WordPress friends. Those don’t count.
It was a fulfilling and uplifting experience. I feel quite strange. Is this hope?