Attention and Email

/ San Francisco, California

Almost every life-changing event for me started as an email, so email is way more important than I give it credit for. I should take better care of them, and I’ve written before about how I need to send more nice emails to folks to say thanks and/or hi. But: if someone’s a jerk, or they write to me as if I owe them something then nah. No email. No reply. And not sorry.

I know this is daring, bold, and some might even say courageous—but!—you absolutely do not need to reply to an email if you don’t want to. No one deserves your time and attention. Email is a request, not a demand.

I get the sense that a lot of people reply to every email because of this? Because maybe 80% of the folks who email me expect a swift reply (and I’m not at all bragging here since the amount of email I get from actual humans is way, way lower than most folks). But the humans that do email me always act as if we’re halfway through a conversation—and how dare I not respond to them! We were talking!

This, I think, is kinda shitty.

But if you’re reaching out about something earnestly? Heck yes. I want every single one of those, since they’re life-giving stuff. The Email of Emails. It’s the reason why computers exist.

I need all of them.