Thursday, June 27, 2024

The great unread

Unread emails are the bane of my life. Does anyone else have this problem? I've just cleaned up nearly 500 of them from one of my email inboxes and the other one still has 498 (down from 800).

I don't think I'm alone in having several email addresses, although I admit I might have more than many. At the last count it was five that I use regularly, plus the ones that you get automatically when you have a phone contract but only use to find the company's invoices. I used to have more but now I work for fewer organisations I don't need to have a specific email for all of them. But I still have two for my teaching work, one for private and family use, one for internet use and another for my writing. And you know what? I get spammed in all of them; even the university email is full of junk. It's unbelievable. In fact, while I was clearing down my main gmail account, more spam was coming through.

The problem, I find, is that I do most of my shopping and business online, so the moment you provide businesses with your email address, they find reasons to flood you with special offers, newsletters and advertising in general. No matter that I haven't ticked any boxes saying they could do this... or maybe I have, inadvertently. Anyway, what happens is that even if I have accepted their terms, I rarely have time to read or look at the mails, so they just sit there.

I think Amazon is the worst. I'm both a customer and an author, so they send me around a dozen emails every day offering me books I don't want to read, or sending me order confirmations for those I do. Add to that all the author advice and notices, I can't see the wood for the Amazon trees (sorry 😄).

The other culprit is Wordpress, the blogging platform. They seem to be convinced I need to upgrade my account to a paid platform, and I daily receive notifications of discounts, pleas for me to upgrade and newsletters listing reasons for me to do so. I only use Wordpress to post reviews for the memoirs I read (the link is here if anyone's interested), so I keep it very simple, but in truth I find WP very complicated and not user-friendly at all, and I have zero desire to use it for anything else. They're also quite restrictive as to who can comment. You have to have a WP account to interact with other people on their blogs, which is a real downside. At least with Blogger, we have the Anonymous option and if commenters use that and give their name in the comment box, all is well.

Anyway, that's what has been occupying my time this evening while I've been relaxing in the wonderful but unaccustomed heat of the last few days. Summer has arrived at last and has swept in with a flourish leaving us gasping from the contrast with last week's 13C to yesterday's 30C. Sadly, it was a bit too hot to work outside, so I wouldn't mind it being tempered just a tad so I can paint my barge. It's not much to ask, is it? Still, I'm not really complaining and I genuinely hope the coming weeks will give us more of the same. We have these plans to go faring, you see (ref last post).

Here are a few photos to make up (I hope) for such a mundane blog:

Zoe enjoying yesterday's balmy evening

Before the weather change

The wind that blew away the rain

My garden is in bloom at last

A local park; always beautiful
but especially in sunshine

Enjoy the rest of your week allemaal and I'll be back with more real news later... I hope!



31 comments:

  1. You write, " but in truth I find WP very complicated and not user-friendly at all, " and that makes me sigh hugely with relief: You too? Thank Goodness it's not only me. Nightmare! It never used to be, either. Real pity, that.

    You deserve a medal for all the work you do, so consider yourself awarded one from me, and not just because you have answered a bugbear that has been sitting on my shoulders for a while now... Thank you!

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    1. Fran, thank you for commenting and even more for the award. But I feel humbled that you, who have a lot to deal with, should think so. 😘
      As for WP, I’m glad that I’m not the only one as well. As you say, it used to be so much easier, but I can’t get my head round its complexities now.

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  2. Ah yes, the everlasting hunt for inbox zero - a mythic level of email efficiency that very few achieve!
    Beautiful piccies though!

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    1. Thank you, Jo. I’m glad you like them, 😘

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  3. Yes, indeed. It must be a monster task to clear out your emails. I have one I use every day, one I forget about for weeks to months at a time - and another one that the editor of the publishing company I was with in 2012 insisted I get - and have completely lost! I have no idea how to even get to it at this point. However, I love, love, love your weather. We have 12 C, rain and wind...freezing to me! Have a great trip. God bless. (Steph)

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    1. Steph, you are blessed to have an email you can’t get into. 😆
      I’m looking forward to trimming mine down, but I still need them for all the different functions. I do hope your weather cheers up soon. 12C is not funny for June! Xx

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  4. My husband's email box is crammed full! I obviously have more time on my hands than you, Val, because I make a point of deleting the rubbish as soon as it appears and unsubscribing from shopping channels that, as you say, inundate us with promotional emails. It's a bind, I agree, but good that you can relax in the sun while you're dealing with it. Xx

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    1. Ah Brenda, I think it’s a case of you’re more on top of things and efficient than I am. My trouble is that some of these shopping channels are ones that I buy from regularly too, so I don’t want to unsubscribe from them; I just don’t want so many emails from them. I mean even when I buy something, I’ll get about four emails in a row: one to confirm my order, another to tell me it’s being processed, another that says they’ll mail me when it’s dispatched and a further one sending me an invoice for what I’ve ordered. Unreal! 😄

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  5. I love 'before the weather change'!!

    I do get a lot of rubbish but they go directly into junk mail, most of them; is there a thing on your email where you can move stuff and click 'always move emails from Wordpress to junk'? or whatever?

    I have Outlook (hotmail) (I have a gmail too but don't use it, only for when I need an alternative), and you can direct it so that everything you don't want to actually look at is directed into 'Other', ie, the secondary inbox!!!! Then every so often I might take a quick look and if nothing catches my eye that I might want to actually read, I 'delete all', which is surely one of the most cathartic internet options ever invented!!!!!

    For stuff I actually need or want to read, I have folders entitled 'Shopping' 'eBay' 'PayPal' 'Must keep' or anything to do with, for instance, an upcoming visit, like 'Northampton Oct 24'. I do my 'filing' most days!!!!! I suppose you having lots of different emails is the equivalent!

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    1. Terry, I have to mark someone or a company as a safe sender before it comes into my email, so that’s a bit of a filter, but if I’ve once accepted a company because I’ve done business with them or I want notifications about something, I then get everything in my inbox. It’s hard to distinguish between the mails I need and want to read and those that are just spam at times. My junk mail folder gets most of it, but I need to keep on top of what’s in my inbox more effectively. It’s a bind, though. 🙄

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    2. Glad you liked the weather pic. I love that one too. Xx

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  6. Lovely pictures, Val. Summer at it's height. Cooling off here today which I don't mind as I'm too pale and northern European for strong sun.
    Email is a curse! I've managed to get down to 7 accounts, two of which I haven't checked for about a year. I'm presuming it's becasue we have so many different hats? 😕
    Enjoy your trip! 😁

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    1. That’s it, Aidan. Having so many different hats drives up the volume of junk. It’s cooler here now too. I hope you get some good walks in!

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  7. Hello Vallypee - Dealing with multiple inboxes can be quite a challenge. Problem of spam is another.
    I have an official email ID, a personal one, and one for my blog. Apart from those three, there are two more, but I don't use them often.
    The email ID for my blog is connected to the personal one. So, I have to keep track of only two - the official and the personal. I ensure that I clear the inbox every day. Important mails moved to relevant folders or deleted.
    Glad to know summer is finally arrived. Hopefully, the weather will calm down so you can enjoy the summer heat and focus on getting your barge painting done!

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    1. Thank you, Pradeep. You sound well organised. I need to keep ont op of things more, I can see.

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  8. I guess I have to comment anonymously here because Blogger isn't accepting my Google account stats that I've been entering several times. So, I give up.
    For many years I was also an active member on Blogspot until the take over, which was when I had the option of deleting everything. And I did. I don't even remember who took it over, exactly, but it seems to have gone East somewhere with Multiply and Yahoo360.

    My husband is a web designer now retired, excepting the few straggler jobs he accepts from musician friends, an old music promoter of the province, and the few he still knows with local cultural and language learning sites. Some of these individuals have been using Word Press too, a site which I once used too. And from him I now hear of all the frustrations while transferring and updating files with WP. It appears a very inflexible program that is not at all user friendly. So, best of luck with all your dealings with it.

    And, yes, the weather is gorgeous and grand. We're seeing sun again in the rain soaked lowlands - yay. -- Sherry Gallagher

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    1. Hi Sherry, thank you for commenting despite the frustrations. Blogger is owned by Google now, so your ID should have been accepted, but sometimes it’s the settings on your browser that prevent comments. You have to enable cross-tracking, it seems. Anyway, yes, Wordpress is really difficult, so I just use it in its most basic form. Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

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    2. Thanks, Val. That explains a lot, as Google is based all over the world. When I was teaching in Beijing there was some stink about Google's wanting to relocate to Hong Kong and have more relaxed restrictions. But, as far as I know, there are still bases in Beijing, Shanghi and Hong Kong, as well as the HQ still in California and NY. It's a global eyesore, that's for sure ... and that we're all now so dependent on, as well...ugh

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    3. Yes, about the dependency thing! I’ve just learned to accept I can’t use the internet and not use Google! C’est la Vie!

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  9. Beautiful photos Val, so pleased that summer has arrived at last - a nice glass of wine time in the warm evening sun!

    I get a bit of junk mail - mainly from my gmail address but it gets sent to Spam and I just delete it. I use DuckDuckGo which stops a lot of trackers. I rarely get emails from Amazon suggesting books though - have you tried clicking "Unsubscribe" at the top of emails when these sort of emails land? They should honour that if you click on "Unsubscribe" links. Dawn. X

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    1. Hi Dawn, thank you! I do use the unsubscribe button quite often, but with Amazon I use several of their sites to buy things, so I get emails from each one regarding my purchases and the books they think I will like. I may end up sending it all to junk mail soon, though. 😆

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  10. Hi, Val:

    This problem with unwanted emails is SO out of hand. I have an outrageous number greeting me every day.

    You're right. If you order from a company, you're on their mailing list. I can unsubscribe from most of them fast enough.

    For me, the political emails are out of control. Everyone is sharing lists and it's crazy.

    But aside from the numerous emails, I'm getting texts every day. That makes me NUTS because I have never once responded to anyone who sends me an unsolicited text. Texts interrupt me, they wake me up, and that angers me because I have to check my texts to make sure they're not ones I want or need to receive. Lastly, something about having to unsubscribe to something I never subscribed to is truly maddening.

    Oh, and I LOVE the photos on this blog. Beautiful! xx

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    1. Oh my word, unsolicited texts would drive me nuts, Lisette. I don’t get those fortunately. Can you put your phone on silent mode when you’re sleeping? I put my phone away at night but I know some people don’t like doing that.

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  11. I find Internet technology very intrusive, not just unwanted emails but the dreaded tick box to accept the use of cookies. Some sites offer the option to decline them but most don't, and if you don't tick accept you can't progress to the information you might need
    Lovely photos,especially the 2nd one. Our weather here is cooler now as I suspect yours is too. Time for you to get the painting done, take care Val. David.

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    1. I agree about all those annoying cookies, David. They drive me mad too. I know it was done in an effort to protect our privacy, but it’s way beyond being reasonable. It’s cooler here too, but now it’s raining, so painting is still not possible. We can’t win, can we?

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  12. Ugh. I feel this. Unwanted emails are constantly flooding my inbox. Every time my phone makes that little trill, I get excited...and am almost always disappointed. (I have around five emails, too! I only give out two. One of the remaining three is backup, another is a penname, and the third is in case I get hacked and need another email.) Love your pics!

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    1. Thanks for dropping in, Beth. I think this is a subject we can all relate to, isn’t it? It sounds as if you’ve got a good strategy there, but yes, those pings can be disappointing, I agree. I don’t have sound alerts for that reason. It’s bad enough seeing all the rubbish that comes in, without hearing it.

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  13. Gosh, I totally agree with you. I find wordpress very difficult to 'work'. My author facebook page receives spam from people who pretend to like my books (obviously never read them) or trying to befriend me for who-knows-what nefarious reasons. Google claims they find and remove hundreds of unwanted spam every week but still masses slides through. Like your pix, Val, as always! Shirley R-J.

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    1. It’s a pain, isn’t it, Shirley? I haven’t even mentioned all the scamming spam I receive. Most of that goes straight to Junk, but some of those get through too.

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  14. Well Val, you have certainly touched a nerve with lots of us. Unwanted and spam emails and texts are a complete and utter pain. It's such a nuisance going through the inbox ticking the ones to delete. I have only two email accounts now thank goodness. Shopping online is good but the email junk it generates is atrocious. My pet hate is the constant requests for reviews - How Many Stars would you give Evri etc - Grrrr!
    Anyway, I do hope you get some good weather soon so you can get your boaty work done and set off faring. Love the photos, give Zoe a cuddle from me. x

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    1. Haha, Rebecca, I didn’t realise how well it would resonate with people when I wrote it, but yes, we’re all sick of the spam aren’t we? And I agree about all those requests for reviews. Awful! Thanks so much for the good wishes, Rebecca. Sadly, it’s still raining. 😞 The cuddle for Zoe is being delivered as I write. 😊 xx

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