Content Threshold

Is there a point at which we start receiving so much content that we will choose to opt out?

The thought came to me when I was going through the promotions tab on Gmail for an email that I don’t use too often. I ended up just deleting everything because it was so overwhelming.

On my main Gmail account, I like signing up for newsletters from people I follow like Jason Zook, Paul Jarvis, Justin Jackson, Neville Medhora, Noah Kagan, etc. This is on top of all the other emails I get. I enjoy reading their newsletters and getting their latest articles. But I feel that often times I get multiple of these per day and I end up skimming or deleting them.

So where is my content threshold? At what point is there too much stuff in my inbox that I decide to delete it all and just not read it?

I think it will become like my relationship with the news.

I don’t watch the news. First, I don’t have tv so I avoid the tv news trap. But I used to be a news junkie. Every morning in high school I would check Flipboard and the NYTimes app (before it had a paywall). I had to go through it every single day.

But now? I don’t check any news sites, don’t watch the news, don’t subscribe to news on Twitter or anything else. I even removed the “trending” section on Facebook.

Why?

Because if there is important news, it will get to me somehow. I don’t need to keep up with the news all day and learn about a robbery or a missing kid or an alligator that walked into someone’s yard.

But something important like 9/11? I would find out about it.

Luckily right now, my Gmail inbox is not extremely overwhelming. I like to hit Inbox Zero every day which leads me to either read the email or delete it if I’m not going to read it right away.

But I feel that constantly subscribing to more and more emails (even if it is great content) is going to end up forcing me to opt out altogether. Sure, I could cull my subscriptions down, but I think there will be a point where I just don’t want any of it anymore. A lot of the information I get from these emails are useful but not necessary.

If there is an article I MUST read, I’m sure I’ll find it eventually through Reddit or Twitter. If not, am I worse off for not having read it? Probably not.