Oh I know how it works. It’s the industry I work in. You sign up to buy a dress, get a free download, get electricity or basically anything, and you’re signed up to a mailing list which promises faithfully not to send you any emails you don’t want!

Which we all know is absolute bollocks and because most people don’t have an email address they use exclusively for signing up to ‘stuff’,  when you check your email in the morning you feel like the most popular person in the entire universe!

89093387 emails are waiting for your attention. And all of them with subjects cleverly crafted to grab your attention and have you clicking through.

But the truth is – most of these emails just want something. And it’s generally your money.

At the beginning of 2018, I decided I would start unsubscribing to any email I didn’t want to open instantly. For the first few weeks, it was a chore. Every time I opened any of my email addresses, I would scan down and instead of ignoring or deleting emails I didn’t instantly want to open, I clicked on the email, scrolled to the bottom and clicked ‘UNSUBSCRIBE’. I didn’t even give them a reason.  It wasn’t them. It was me.

I’m a joiner. I hate missing out. So I was still getting emails from the mob we travelled around Turkey with in 2005 and some of the organisations I was associated with in when I lived in England and Ireland.  I hadn’t opened or read one of their emails in almost 15 years – so why hadn’t I just unsubscribed.

Because like most of us – I couldn’t be bothered. And you just never know do you? What if…? What about….?

The fact is if there are subscription emails that I want to open instantly they are generally around causes I believe in, educational emails that are relevant to my business or interests, newsletters from bloggers or writers that amuse me or the very occasional, totally obscure missives I get from the ‘The Cloud Appreciation Society’. The rest I’d just mass delete every now and then when having 5,678 unread emails yelling at me from my phone screen annoyed me enough to do something.

It has been incredibly freeing as the year progressed to wake up some mornings to an inbox that contained absolutely no new emails.  As I shopped for Christmas ordering things for relatives and friends, I unsubscribed from the mailing list as soon as they sent me the welcome email.  On the flip side, I relished the festive flood of emails I received from people and organisations whose information and content I truly enjoy.

I’ve applied the same rationale to my social. I’ve unsubscribed from groups, unliked pages, unfollowed feeds, changed the status of people so I see less or more of them depending on whether they bring me joy or cause angst. I still follow pages or feeds from organisations or people that challenge my thinking, but I’ve eliminated what for me was just noise.

What I have opened up though is space in my inbox for personal emails, new clients, current clients and of course, bills. The first three keep me happy, and the last keeps my phone connected and the air conditioning working.  Which in an Australian summer is a good thing.

So I suppose in retrospect, my word for 2018 was JOUS. Which is text-speak surely for ‘the Joy Of UnSubscribe’?

Try it. And happy 2019.