The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

My #noemail exception

Three weeks into #noemail and overall I’m on point and still alive and still in touch with most folks and organizations that want to be in touch with me for good reasons. I see that I still get about 120 emails per day that aren’t flagged as spam by Gmail. Of those, about 1/10th are flagged as Priority by Gmail — and for the most part Gmail is correct if overly so. None of the non-Priority really required my attention at all. Most were listservs that I had forgotten about, notifications that I haven’t yet turned off, random group emails, “special” offers and invitations, and notification that one of my neighbor’s email accounts had been hacked claiming that her purse was stolen in London (I got the phishing mail as well).

I have no problem getting my “important” School emails via RSS (see articles below) which I’ve been delighted to rediscover as part of the #noemail exercise. RSS is a much better way to deal with the general interest announcements that make our faculty into a community — and I’m not a sorting machine for email.

So far so good. Much of my Priority mail is bounced versions of my Away message; I need to train Gmail on that I guess.

Serbian Family Across from the Petrovaradin fortress

Serbian Family Across from the Petrovaradin fortress

But the complication is that our son, who was scheduled to enter college at Princeton in the fall, has decided instead to go to southeastern Europe and live with the Serbs and Roma. I would be in shock except that this means that has was accepted into the Princeton Bridge Year Program. He’ll be one of five incoming first years who will put off their initial year of school to do a year of service in Serbia.

I’m delighted of course and proud and all the other emotions that you might expect me to be feeling. But Princeton isn’t all that hep on #noemail or even the milder #pleasedontsendattachments. I could pass all this on to my wife, as Wendell Berry does for his typing etc or as Donald Knuth does to his secretary, but that’s not fair to her and I want to be involved as far as I’m allowed — Princeton emails are full of warnings that your child needs to be responsible and that you shouldn’t be flying over to check him/her out etc. All helicopter parents are grounded.

So far the next several weeks, I’ll be reading email from Princeton. Nowhere else. That’s it.

1 Comment

  1. Congratulations to your son for being accepted into the bridge year program!

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