Stale Mail

In the eternal quest to clear the inbox (aka The Impossible Dream), I responded to a message today dated June 2003, with something like “Let’s face reality – I’m never going to give this the thoughtful response it deserves, but thanks for the energy you put into this thread.” It’s a cop-out I know, but also necessary/pragmatic. This got me thinking – is there, like, a statute of limitations on the age of email messages? After what point is it just pointless to bother responding? Can you delete unanswered messages after a year without having to apologize for it? I know I’m not alone in this dilemma. How old is your oldest unanswered message? The one you keep around because you just know one night you’ll get around to responding (I actually have some older than June 2003 and would love an excuse to just can them).

How old is the oldest unanswered message in your inbox?

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4 Replies to “Stale Mail”

  1. I get several hundred to a thousand messages each week, but I am pretty good about getting back to people… Occasionally I’ll have a message that hangs around for a month or four, but right now I’m fairly caught up…

  2. Your main page’s random-quote picker sometimes comes up with:
    “E-mail is a gift — should never imply an obligation to respond.”

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