Save Our Inboxes! Email charter

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We are all drowning in too much email. Most messages are deleted before they are even read. It is a highly inefficient way to solve problems. Given the vast capacity of new media to connect us to others and a wide world of information we can find ourselves, why not think before we email. Let’s all follow this charter to reduce email, and clear a bit more space for everyone to step offline, and connect in more meaningful ways.

What’s the fuss, you ask? Why is email such a drag? The email charter has a great explanation of the problem:

“An email inbox has been aptly described as the to-do list that anyone in the world can add an item to. If you’re not careful, it can gobble up most of your working week. Then you’ve become a reactive robot responding to other people’s requests, instead of a proactive agent addressing your own true priorities. This is not good.”

They describe this problem by pointing to economics theory–the Tragedy of the Commons:

“Individuals, acting independently and rationally according to each one’s self-interest, tend to behave contrary to the whole group’s long-term best interests by depleting some common resource.”

Let’s be smarter and more efficient in the ways we use digital networks to connect. It may be easy to send an email, but it’s likely you are passing off your problem to someone else, asking them to take time to deal with a problem you could handle yourself with a bit more DIY gusto.

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