India Uncut

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Pop psychology and your email inbox

Sigh. Now they're saying that your email inbox reveals how you are as a person. In a piece by Jeffrey Zaslow, a psychologist named Dave Greenfield is quoted as saying, "If you keep your inbox full rather than empty, it may mean you keep your life cluttered in other ways." Another gentleman named Merlin Mann (a magical Surd? Nah!) says:
You have to treat your inbox like you treat your mailbox at home. You wouldn't store your bills inside your mailbox. And leaving spam in your inbox is like leaving garbage in your kitchen.
Well, in my case, the comparisons seem to bear out, as I'm a fairly untidy person, leaving books scattered around the house, and my email mailbox is a mess (even worse than when I last blogged about it). However, I'm not sure the analogy Mann makes holds up. The space I have in my email mailbox is effectively unlimited, while my meatspace mailbox and my kitchen are rather small. I use Gmail, and there are no benefits to keeping my inbox lean, but plenty of possible costs, as I may later wish to access email that doesn't seem important to me now. One can be perfectly organised in Gmail, using labels and search smartly, without deleting a single non-spam email.

On the other hand, maybe I'm just a slob in denial. Boo hoo.

(Link via Amit Agarwal.)
amit varma, 1:58 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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