The curse of the reply-all

Let me just start this post by saying I have an amazing group of friends that I love dearly. We had a fantastic time at SantaCon this weekend. Just look at this attractive bunch:

That being said, we have a serious problem. And that problem is a tendency to reply-all with reckless abandon to every single group email about everything.

We’ve been doing this for years, but it really became an issue around the time of Pennsylvaniafest. There had been so many unrelated reply-alls that at least one person–Sue–had no idea when to meet the group the day of the actual event. Ultimately, though her carpool was a bit late to the Yuengling brewery tour, everything went smoothly and we moved on.

Around the campfire that night, Christine thought of a solution. She started an email chain called “Bullshit,” and she copied everyone in attendance on it. She designated it as a safe place for people to send around YouTube videos and silly pictures and pointless quips about whatever. We immediately put it into effect, and since its inception a month ago, Gmail has reset the thread after reaching 100 messages at least twice. We sure know how to bullshit.

241 bullshit messages and counting…

This hasn’t stopped the bullshitting in other threads, however. There’s just more of it than ever going around. We’re planning a trip to North Carolina in June, and Christine had to send three separate emails about payment because the other payment threads had gotten so bogged down with BS.

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. I’ve basically stopped reading the Bullshit thread. And I’ve basically stopped reading every other thread, too. I was getting pretty frustrated before SantaCon, because I couldn’t figure out where or when we were supposed to meet people, even though there were over 60 emails in the chain. (Fun fact: They don’t announce the routes until like 12 hours before it starts–information that was probably somewhere in the chain, but I didn’t have the time to go looking for it.)

I’m guilty of this too, though I’ve tried to be more selective with my BS as of late. I suppose I’m even more guilty of not reading relevant emails. I need to figure out how to set up Gmail so that genuinely important stuff–bills, initial event invites, emails from my mom–gets bumped to the top. And I should star the emails within a chain that contain useful information as soon as they come in. Hopefully that will erase the temptation to send bitchy emails like the one I sent last Friday: “Where and when am I supposed to meet everyone tomorrow? (Sorry if I missed this email. There are a lot of them.)”

I apologize for being a turd, friends. I love you just the way you are, 8,246 bullshit emails and all.


About Meghan Loftus
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One Response to The curse of the reply-all

  1. Rebecca says:

    Haha, that’s funny. Carly made some comment about how it’s a problem, and it was only then that I realized I haven’t been on them! I was afraid before I would be sad about that, but I’m actually kind of relieved.

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