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The Care and Feeding of Your Inbox

One of the biggest complaints out there is about “junk mail.” Sure, there is plenty of junk mail out there (just look at the graphic below), but many users use the term “junk mail” for stuff that clogs up their inbox, even emails from legitimate senders.

So, here’s (my) definition of “junk mail” – it’s email from senders you didn’t give permission to receive messages from. CVS, J. Crew, Whole Foods? If you’re getting email from these types of senders, they’re NOT junk – even if they annoy you. They’re just legitimate businesses, sending you email that you approved of! Any of those types of email messages have an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom – if you don’t want to hear from them, then unsubscribe!

So, a quick recap: Email that is obviously a scam, OR messages from senders you never gave permission to: Junk mail.

Email from legitimate businesses that you signed up for or have dealt with: Marketing email.

To eliminate FUTURE sends of email from legitimate senders: Use the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email. As far as standard junk mail goes, just grin and bear it, and delete it when it comes in. No use fighting it – it’s like emptying a swimming pool with a teacup.

And as far as political email (and text) goes: Once you donate, it’s like feeding a stray animal – it’ll keep coming back for more. And tell all its friends as well. That’s the peril of giving money to politicians.


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