Inbox 100,000

Many cubicle workers, no matter their particular job or industry, have at least one common task: keep up with email. Nothing ruins a day at the office like email messages piling up faster than you can deal with them.

To deal with this modern malaise, a dude named Merlin Mann came up with “Inbox Zero,” a series of videos and articles intended to help computer-bound professionals organize and accomplish all the tasks that attack us via email. Predictably, the term was interpreted literally by many cube denizens and achieving a totally empty inbox by any means necessary became an end in itself.

It’s one trend I haven’t followed.

Inbox 100,000

No, that’s not my work inbox. It’s the Yahoo! account I established some time prior to August 27, 2002, the date of the first email I still have saved. If you just look within the window, it appears I have “999+” unread messages, because apparently anything more than three digits is too much for Yahoo! to handle. Not really, though, because the title bar of the window gives the much more useful figure of 99,813. That’s not total messages; that’s just unread messages.

The figure is accurate as of May 22, 2013 at 8:38 am. Since that screenshot was taken, the number has topped 99,900. It’s quite possible my inbox will exceed 100,000 unread messages by the end of Memorial Day weekend.

My Yahoo! Mail account is probably the oldest online account I still use regularly. It’s the address I give out whenever there’s the slightest possibility it will be used for spam. Every few months I go through and unsubscribe from most mailing lists, but the marketing onslaught continues. Nevertheless, I still need to check the account for legitimate emails, mostly from online shopping transactions.

I could set up spam filters, but the junk email is occasionally interesting – sales flyers for businesses I frequent, that sort of thing. I’m certainly not going to take the time to delete messages I don’t want; whom are they hurting? Soon enough they’ll scroll off my screen, pushed ever downward by newer useless missives. Inbox zero is a myth anyway. There’s plenty of inner peace to be had just ignoring unwanted emails.

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