Preparing For May

April 26, 2012

In a few days I’ll be Internet free; free from Tweets about your lunch, Facebook pictures of your dog, Instagrams of your baby. Free from e-mails about what to bring to pot-lucks and if I’d like you to guest post about your growing business (no). Free from Goodreads and Pinterest, YouTube and Blogs. Free from discount books on Amazon and cats doing cartwheels on Huffington Post. Free.

I might die.

The truth is, I’m scared. Scared I’ll hate it and scared I’ll love it. Scared I’ll forget someone’s birthday or miss engagement news. Scared my inbox might explode.

Remember when my email inbox was at 97%? It got worse. This February, Gmail warned me it was going to shut my sorry butt down if I didn’t delete something.  99% and counting. Oops.

In preparation for May, I’ve spent months shaving down 20,700+ emails to the basics. You know, 19,000 or so.

It’s actually been kind of cathartic. First I went through all emails that had attachments (space hogs) and found all sorts of relics from the past; minutes from old board meetings, dramatic songs sent to friends, love poems, skinny pictures, homework emailed to professors with the subject “sorry it’s late,” and some excuse about ink.

I spent hours rereading those old college papers. They had titles like “Waking a Generation of Women: Kate Chopin’s The Awakening” and “From Neolithic to New York: Technology’s Triumphs and Turmoils in an Ever Changing World.” Flashback: I used to have brains in my head! I was one of those nerds who loved writing papers. Hate me now, but thank me later when I’m proofing your grad school essay.

After I went through all those emails, I did searches for wastes of space like alumni updates and shopping receipts and angsty emails sent to ex boyfriends. Those were a treat. I remember one in particular contained exactly 10 paragraphs describing how and why THIS. IS. OVER. Delete!

I also worked on unsubscribing from things like Josh Ritter’s newsletter, Ticketmaster, Sojourners, and updates from Twitter and Facebook. What was I thinking before? All this undue inbox maintenance was giving me ulcers.

Update: I am proud to report that I’m down to 58%, with only 27 emails in my inbox that need to be taken care of. Victory dance!

To Do

1) Print out my Google Calendar and hang it on the fridge like it’s 1990.

2) Make a list of books to check out from the library.

3) Alert my friend in Borneo that if she needs me, she’ll have to send up a smoke cloud.

4) Alert all my other friends and family that I’m not dead.

5) Break the news that I’m not pre-scheduling posts.

I’ve gotten a lot of advice on this Internet silence. Some of you said to stay quiet, others asked for some pre-scheduled posts. A few of you warned that a whole month without posting will lose all my readers. Some went as far as suggesting updates from Baby Daddy. That one made me laugh.

Here’s what I have to say about it: my gut says go big or go home. I can’t wait to tell you all about it in June.


More details about the 2012 Project HERE

26 thoughts on “Preparing For May

  1. Katie

    I take it you aren’t gonna guest post for me when I’m in disney then eh?


    Good luck! I have given up bits here and there, but all of it? Yea. That scares me. I guess I don’t quite consider instagram THE INTERNET.

    Bend the rules on that?

  2. Hannah

    I have to applaud you and I can’t wait to hear the discoveries you are going to make in this internet fast… I agree with you… go big or go home!
    Imagine all the time you will have… :-)
    and then my selfish addition… I will miss you! and totally be here in June… don’t you worry!

  3. Heather

    you won’t miss it! are you allowed to watch netflix? I wish I could stop! I would have a lot more time to do the things that are really important! like unload the dishwasher BEFORE supper and read to mykids! not typing in comments on your blog! ps, sending another book to you sometime, hope you don’t mind me dumping my books on you!

  4. Emily

    good for you! I’m dyyying to do this. Are you putting an auto-reply on your email letting people know that you will be out of intervebz office?

  5. Meagan@ Green Motherhood

    I think the next post should be, “How You (the readers) can prepare yourself for May.” seriously, I’m gonna need some tips.
    I’ll most certainly be here when you get back. I’m not going anywhere.
    Also, when you get 500 hit a day from the same person, that’s me, hoping this is all just a big joke.

  6. Heather

    I’ll still be reading you when you’re back in June. I’m a fan of “Go Big or Go Home” myself. It’s how I roll. Enjoy the silence. It’s an internet trappist retreat.

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