Beki Grinter

Email Charter

In empirical, social media on August 1, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I just saw this email charter which is an attempt to encourage the reduction of email. We’ve known for a long time that email is overloaded and also riddled with spam. Recently though I’ve seen more attempts to do something about this. The email charter is one, a social code. A colleague of mine, Eric Gilbert, designed another which is courteous.ly, a system that allows you to reflect your email volume. It’s a really nice example of social translucence balancing providing insight with maintaining privacy. Mine is here, although I don’t use gmail 🙂 Finally, I also recently wrote about a Professor who has abandoned email.

All of this is making me wonder about an experiment I’ve been wanting to try, which is to have one email free day a week. I’ve been thinking Sunday as starters. No, it’s not that I am Christian (I am not even Christened) but it is a day that still has some degree of practices around it that separate it from the others. That’s especially true in Georgia where they still prevent us from buying alcohol on Sunday, and quite a few things open later on Sundays, and the crowds are often smaller at various places while many Georgians are at church. So I’ve been wondering whether I should go email free for at least one day a week.

But, what has been stopping me, other than my own curiousity about what’s in my inbox is also commitments I’ve made. For example, if I hadn’t read my email last weekend I think it would have been unfair to my co-Papers Chairs. I guess in the end that’s why I like the charter and Eric’s system more than just quitting. Both of those seem to account for the dependencies that email reflects, commitments made, responsibilities that we have to each other. But I still want a way to spend less time in my email.

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