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Email Theory

I have a theory: The less junk mail you send, the less you receive.

We all get email that we do not want. But not all junk mail is the same. We can mark some as “Junk” or “Spam,” or we can try to “Unsubscribe.”

But what about the unwanted email — jokes, political statements, videos, stream-of-conscious ramblings, etc. — we get from people we know who send them to everyone they know?

If we mark a friend’s address as “Junk” or “Spam,” or we block them, we may not see any email from them, including those messages we may actually want.

Here is my recommendation: stop sending bulk email to everyone in your contact list. If you stop, it reduces the junk mail in their inboxes. If they stop, it reduces the junk mail in yours. It’s a start.

Rather, hand pick the people you think will appreciate what you wish to share. They will appreciate that you specifically chose them.

If you do get unwanted email from particular acquaintances, you can reply diplomatically asking that they take you off their distribution list. Not only will you receive fewer unwanted messages, you will remind them to be more thoughtful about what — and to whom — they send.

And, of course, if you no longer wish to receive my ITmail, please click the “SafeUnsubscribe” link below. That’s why it’s there. (But I hope you won’t!)