Friday, January 18, 2008

The Last Word

It's difficult for me to get an email and read it and then not respond. Sure, there are some where deleting is fine, and some I delete without even reading.

But I'm talking about emails from actual people sent directly to me. I feel like I owe everyone a response. To not respond seems, well, rude.

But I was thinking today. What if everyone felt that way? Our inboxes would be more paralyzingly useless than they are today.

But what I need to keep in mind is that there are plenty of times where I've written to someone and they haven't responded. In many cases, I probably won't remember that I wrote to them, so I'm not sitting there upset at the lack of a response. Moreso I'm pleasantly surprised to find a nice new personal email in my inbox.

And someone has to make the bold commitment to kill a thread that has died. Like when you stand there with someone in the hall long after you've run out of things to say and both of you are panicking because your coffee is getting cold and you can't break free. (I'm not good at ending those kinds of conversations, either.)

So, that's an unofficial goal of mine for the year. Getting better at knowing when a thread should die -- and then letting it go peacefully into the Trash folder without worrying that I've offended.
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