26,000 Unread E-mails

I’ve decided to start this year’s work by cleaning out some old “sourdoughs”, as we say in Swedish sometimes. One of these is the long-postponed culling of e-mails that have long past their best before date and are now fermenting in my inbox. I currently have 26,844 unread ones.

Don’t stop e-mailing me, though; I usually get round to personally addressed e-mails at once. But I am also the happy subscriber of quite a number of (usually) free news services, press information wires, I’m on every mailing list of as many organisations, companies and insttutions I can possibly imagine being of any benefit to my daily news hunt, and so on. And it only so happens that with many of them, they don’t come across as urgently important, and so I go “oh, I’ll read that later”… and of course I never get around to Later in that sense.

Many are also legible without opening (why do I feel like I’m suddenly trying to defend myself here?), because my e-mail service shows their first few words before you open them. But still, with many of them, you feel that there might be something interesting there… if you could only get to looking them through.

That’s why I feel awkward about unsubscribing: there might be something interesting there etc etc etc etc. And as if to prove that, whenever I think about unsubscribing from a service, of course that very one suddenly yields a big story (after lying fallow for years).

That’s one of the many blessings of being a journalist: you have the constant feeling that you ought to turn every stone, because there might be something interesting there etc etc etc etc. And you always feel stressed if you don’t.

But now it’s tidy up time… and if I know myself, I’ll constantly be interrupted by finding stuff that I should have read and that I ought to just have a quick glance at now that I’m sorting out the old ones and all that. After all, there might be something interesting there.

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