Whether it was out of laziness, or sympathy for the creators, or apathy in terms of my inbox’s cleanliness, I’ve been allowing my email account to fill with newsletters, promotions, reminders and e-blasts for the past five years. A typical day would bring 25 messages, 18 of which were from businesses, sports teams, non-profits, magazines and other form mail.
Over the past week, I’ve been unsubscribing to these messages one by one.
Though I didn’t give them much thought when I’d receive them before, the active deletion of the correspondence has, surprisingly, left me wistful. As if there’s some kind of nostalgia to be gathered from each message’s origins.
This Pittsburg Steelers newsletter started coming because I purchased a sweatshirt for my step-father’s Christmas gift. These Indiana Pacers updates are akin to an old flame, as are the Penguin.uk and Nation mailings, reminders of a former passion that had evolved past the stage of fandom. The election is a year past, but that doesn’t stop my box from filing with Obama and MoveOn.org messages.
Each unsubscribe cuts another tie from the past, until my inbox only represents my current life.