I spent a couple of hours today methodically unsubscribing from several years’ worth of newsletters, subscriptions, etc. It’s amazing how freeing it feels to see browser window after browser window saying, “Thank you, you will no longer receive these emails.”
I didn’t do this randomly, however!
Before beginning, I set out the objective criteria I would use: if I haven’t read an email from that list in over a year, I would unsubscribe. Period. I subscribe to many friends’ email lists. When considered one-by-one, I would never unsubscribe because it would feel like somehow weakening the bond between me and my friend. But make no mistake: there is no bond between me and my friend if I’m never reading their email. (And besides, if their email is mainly business, and we’re personal friends, a marketing email doesn’t keep me feeling a personal connection.) Using objective, pre-determined criteria let me make the decision quickly and cleanly.
And by the way–I kept the list of names of people whose unsubscribes felt personal. I’m going to call them, instead. On the phone. And establish a real connection, not the electronic fantasy of one.