I sat down to look through my emails last weekend (about the only time I find I have a solid block to read and reply to them). And I went through and unsubscribed to most of the email newsletters I had received over the last week, again making a note of which ones I’d unsubscribed to. They generally fell into three categories, which was quite interesting:

The Irritating – You know the ones. Hotel chains, clothing stores. Some place where you gave your email address, completely forgot you’d done it, and then they send you an email out of the blue. I can’t even remember the last time I stayed at a Rydges hotel, and yet there they are sending me emails. These ones are really easy to get rid of, because I never read them anyway. It’s just that it’s always been easier to hit delete than look for the unsubscribe link. But now, after this purge, both I and the company sending the emails are being completely honest with each other – the relationship wasn’t really working.

The Guilt-Inducing – These ones are more interesting. There are a number of email newsletters that I was signed up to because they’re related to something I felt guilty that I should be doing (and most likely wasn’t doing). An email newsletter for a writing course. An email newsletter from a missionary that I signed up to once ages ago at a one-off meeting, even though it’s not a missionary I’m ever likely to meet again and is not supported by our church. Frequent Flyer emails (I know I should check what miles I have and be vigilant to look for an offer, but I never do…). By unsubscribing from them, I was kind of admitting that actually I may not get around to these things for a long while (if at all), which was hard to admit to. But, once I had done that and unsubscribed, by cutting them back, I immediately felt like I’d free up some energy.

The Right-Buttons Emails – These are the hard ones to unusubscribe from. They come in, and they push all the right buttons to make you want to spend money. Emails from cinemas advertising special movies. Emails from book stores. Not that I’m saying I’m completely avoiding book stores and movies. But the point is, to be in control of these things, you have to be the one saying – “I think I’ll go to the movies; what’s on?” Or, “I think I’ll buy a book.” But if you weren’t planning to go to the movies or to buy a book (especially if you’re on a budget), do you really need this kind of stimulus to impulse buy? I think I’d just rather wait until I definitely want to buy something and then visit the website or the store.

So, yes, all in all, it’s been rather a good purge.

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