Management of emails and the rest of social media.
Here is my current approach.
As with countless others, emails pour into the inbox on a daily basis. Personal emails, spiritual seekers, enquiries on a wide range of personal and global issues, sangha emails, business emails, emails with PDFs, links/articles/photographs and links to ‘must see’ websites, videos on Youtube and blogs find their way into the inbox.
I also initiate numerous emails in the course of a year to people and organisations that I know and plenty of emails to people that I don’t know.
Emails pour in from spiritual networks, activist organisations, charities, news networks, notes from committee meetings, minutes, and businesses that I subscribe to from online books, software companies to household goods and travel agencies/airlines. It doesn’t end there. There are numerous other emails. I define these additional emails as worth viewing later, possibly worth viewing now or later or not worth viewing at all. Spam, spam, spam.
One of my local IT consultants told me that I receive more emails and reply to more emails than any of his other self –employed clients or, as I prefer, non-self-employed. Lucky them!
I just checked in the Sent box of Outlook, the number of emails I replied to in 2015. So far (mid-December 2015) it amounted to around 2600 emails. I regularly send out an email to a group of people, which easily invites several replies from one email.
The end of 2015 approaches. I am going to start a new system with emails. My first major step is switching from Outlook to Gmail and from the Outlook folder system to Gmail with its labels, filter and search system. I have used Outlook for 18 years so I have to embark on a fresh learning curve.
My ‘method’ to respond
Many emails only require a single response. Other emails from loved ones, good friends or necessity for an inter-change of emails require more correspondence. I generally employ some guidelines with regard to this. For example, the emailer may respond to my email after two or three days. I will respond (assuming it is out of teaching time) with similar frequency. If an emailer responds after two or three weeks or more to my last email. I will respond in a similar time period.
Despite my efforts to be a committed emailer, I still fail to respond to certain emails, Sometimes I fail to read an email.
I place all the non-spam emails at the end of the month into an Outlook folder. I delete the spam. So I have a folder of emails for each month. There may be still be a handful of messages in the folder for the month missed out. I do apologise if you did not get a reply. I do apologise, as well, that it is not a hand on heart apology. As mentioned, I still believe there is life outside of emails.
I can only suggest to my beloved emailers that you send your email to me again, if you have not received a reply within a month. If you feel your message is rather important, then re-send after 10 days. Some emailers send me rather long emails, sometimes running to hundreds and hundreds of words. My replies tend to range from a sentence or two, to a few paragraphs, or a short response and I may direct the person to something I have written on the subject matter.
Facebook and Social Media
I have a Facebook business page and a Facebook Friends page. I have written a weekly bog for the past 440 weeks. When away teaching or at home working on (yes!) emails, flckr for photos, poems, essays and books, the blog gets neglected so I then catch up to generate around 50 blogs per year. There is a Leave a Comment facility for readers at the foot of each blog. Some readers leave a comment, either at the end of the blog or in an email, with appreciation for a particular blog while others get very angry with what I write. Some resort to using the effing language. Others see all manner of motivations behind my blog that had not occurred to me.
I am not a believer in free speech since free speech, by definition, endorses all manner of abusive and violent language reinforcing personal and collective prejudices. I trust in the application of wise speech to reduce the duality of separation, conflict and duality. An investigation, an enquiry and critiques of the ugly face of free speech have an important function.
I look into my Facebook page every week. I glance through some of the Facebook messages sent to me. I regularly ‘share’ on my Facebook page interesting articles, critiques, polemics and video clips I have seen on Facebook or sent to me in a link that landed in my email box. It happens regularly that Facebook Friends assume that because I ‘share’ an article or critique that I therefore ‘like’ the content of the critique. Far from it. I simply place it on my page because I think it is worth a read. That’s all.
It would be rather rare for me to post on Facebook a critique I have read and find myself fully supportive of every sentence. If I found something really worthwhile to read or view, then I will usually encourage friends to read or view in my comment above the item. I hope this helps to clear up this regular misunderstanding.
Facebook I can easily keep the sender’s message and the reply. I do not use my mobile phone for emails, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, blogging etc. I hardly use my mobile phone for making a telephone call or text. It is a tool for brief use when necessary. There is life outside the mobile phone and I don’t want to miss out on it.
On the rare occasion my mobile phone conversation lasts more than a couple of minutes, I put the call on the loudspeaker to keep the phone away from my ear and the unpleasant sensation/frequency pumping into my brain cells. Except for short chats to Nshorna (my daughter), emergency or short texts, I do not use the mobile phone overseas. I am away from home around four to five months a year.
Last year, I made a New Year’s resolution to send once a week a Twitter message. I completely forgot about this resolution. So the Twitter account continues to remain dormant. I have now renewed this resolution for 2016.
Why am I writing all this?
I will point to this blog item to thos who contact me, whether emailers, Facebook Friends, blog/twitter commentators, mobile phone callers, texters and others. As the receiver of your wonderful (and welcome) messages, my intention is to provide a clear picture of the situation involving such forms of communication between us.
Perhaps this blog will help to explain such issues as my delays in response, brevity of response, forgetfulness of response and time considerations for length of response.
I hope this information is helpful. If not, please press Esc or delete button on this blog, or any of my other pages on social media, as soon as possible.
You do not have to spend your precious time writing a message to let me know.
May all beings be free from the deception of substitute realities
May all beings explore deeply the real world
May all beings engage with the the sensuality of intimate life