You know the sound. Every inbox has one; the sound that signals that you have a new email. “I’ll look at it later,” you tell yourself. “I am only gonna check my email twice a day,” you lie to yourself. There’s something about that sound that draws you in; it makes you want to read what has just come in. It’s usually something that isn’t even that important. As a college student, most of the emails we get are just chain emails that get sent to every student at the university about clubs to join or student government elections. Rarely do we ever hear back from our TAs or professors that we are trying to reach in a timely manner. Nonetheless, checking email is like an addiction. If you are nodding your head along with me, I’m afraid you may be just as addicted as I am.
When I am on my computer, my email is an open tab in my browser at all times. As often as I scroll through my social media sites, I click back onto my email inbox just in case. I refuse to let myself connect my email to my phone, because I know that my addiction will just get worse. I am not a super important person and at any given time, my inbox probably only contains messages that are from my mom, my school, my TAs talking about upcoming due dates, or theSkimm in the mornings on weekdays. The big excitement in my life lately has been starting Grad School applications, so I get emails thanking me for making an account or reminding me to finish my applications, plus the exciting "your GRE scores are in" emails. I have no idea why I am so compulsive about clearing out my email, but it is a hobby of mine to delete old messages so my inbox isn’t full. I am already worried about having to forward all of my mail when I graduate and can’t use my .edu email anymore. It was hard enough on me to be a grown up and put an email signature at the bottom of my messages, the thought of having to create another one when I switch email addresses stresses me out.
Part of the reason I am so obsessed with checking my email is probably because we live in a society where instant gratification is everything. When we get texts, we are expected to respond right away. When we call friends, we expect them to answer. It is all about the right now because that is what we are used to. We stream movies and listen to music instantly, why shouldn’t we get responses to our emails right away? Most universities have a 24-hour policy when it comes to returning emails, so it is really only expected that we check once a day, but if you’re me, you get stressed if you get home from work and haven’t checked your email today.
Hopefully others can relate and I am not the only crazy one out there. If this article applies to you, know that you are not alone. It is okay to be obsessed with checking your email and maybe together, we can push past this and not let the addiction stop us from living our lives outside of the internet.
Ps. I got an email while writing this and literally stopped typing to check it.