I finally have Gmail’s Priority Inbox. Google automatically labels certain e-mails as “important” and puts these e-mails at the top of my inbox. The rest are unimportant.
I was really excited about this feature. When Alex told me about this feature, he said it reminded him of my blog entry on realtime vs. relevance. I could ignore the stream of e-mail coming in and focus on the important! I would no longer feel overwhelmed.
Instead, the feature has temporarily left me depressed. I get a decent amount of e-mail and almost all of it is unimportant. I must not be very important. The important and unread portion of my mail box is empty most of the time. A depressingly large amount of my e-mail is impersonal.
At least in the throes of e-mail addiction, I would get a small hit of hedonic pleasure from a new e-mail. A new, but unimportant, e-mail no longer provides the same amount of pleasure.