Yesterday’s post was about waiting for an email, and today is about the anxiety of sending one. Because as hard as it is to hear bad news, it is probably just as uncomfortable to send it. The first time I heard about Email Debt Forgiveness Day was a few weeks ago when I was listening to the Reply All podcast, hosted by Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt. The purpose of the holiday is to send replies to those emails that have been collecting dust in your inbox. On April 30th you can send long awaited responses to people, guilt free.
Not only can you send it guilt free but you don’t have to provide any explanation, except for the link to the Reply All page providing the details to this holiday. In anticipation of the holiday, Reply All did interviews with people who are planning to participate. Do yourself a favor and listen to the episode because the stories are both heartbreaking, and one is just completely adorable. But it got me thinking, what email would I send today? What have I been avoiding?
There are some obvious answers, like the thirty job postings that I’ve seen that I should send emails to with my application. Then there is the project that I agreed to assist on but have instead been drifting away, and have failed to get back in touch with the people in charge. There are several different scenarios playing through my head that seem appropriate to take care of on this holiday. Because the way I see it this is holiday is not just for replies to emails long forgotten. The holiday is about confronting the things we are too scared to deal with. In fact, there are a few people I could send an email to that deserve to hear my thoughts on a few matters but I refuse to be petty and sometimes it’s just best not to say anything at all. Whether it’s an email or not.
I encourage others though to make use of this day and to begin observing it every year. I have a feeling that there will always be words that need to be sent, and people of this generation seem to have a hard time communicating with others. I’m not sure how we got like this. How we became terrified of talking to other people, and how we let anxiety keep us from emails. Technology used to be a way of avoiding people but now we even avoid the screen that is giving us distance from the face to face interactions we used to dread.
I don’t pretend to be above it. That’s why if you feel unable to send your email today, even though it’s a holiday, I won’t judge you. We’re all in this together.