I have them filtered. Sounds good, doesn’t it? As though I’m purifying and simplifying.

It means the Facebook messages (of which there are fewer recently, and no bad thing either, now they’ve changed the system), the GoodReads updates, the Freegle notifications and the HappenStance Shop registrations go automatically into separate folders. I check them all. I haven’t got Twitter messages filtered: I ought to have.

Anyway, into my main email in-tray flood all the rest.

Last night I was out. For the first time in ages, I didn’t pick up messages.

Today, I get home from college and into my study, to find 61 filtered Freegle emails and 8 GoodReads updates. I don’t check the HappenStance Shop registrations because so many of them are spammers. A mere 6 from FaceBook, including birthdays.

In my main in-tray, there are about 20 saved messages – things I’m currently dealing with or about to – as well as about 12 more new communications I need to do something about today; another 12 that can be dealt with instantly or deleted. Three reminders from a bulletin board thread — I ought to log in and reply to at least one. There are 20 red herrings as well: evil spam-people leaving messages on the website by clicking the ‘click here for more information boxes’. I hate these people. Sarah has taken away the boxes now, so nobody can click for more information. They’ll just have to send me an email and ask…

Speaking of email: 28 junk messages. I check quickly to see they ARE really all garbage.

Online, there are 5 private messages sitting in FaceBook – haven’t looked at them yet – but the page is open in the corner of my eye, ominously.

I put the SQA messages (educational jobs) into the SQA folder, Sphinx-related messages into the Sphinx folder (26 messages there currently waiting there with urgent tasks for me to do), save emails from Mad Poets in the Mad Poets file for posterity, put messages from printers into the Printer folder, once I’ve replied…

Then there are 2 shop orders I need to parcel up and send out. Downstairs there are 3 snail mail submissions (sent in the wrong month – send them back quick before I go under and SNARL), as well as 2 book orders: this means going online and printing out the invoices before I parcel them up. While I’m doing this, another email pops in, and another. It is a mistake to reply quickly. It generates interaction.

It’s hard to manage the feeling of swimming against a continuous fast current. It’s hard to get on quietly with work – reading poems, sorting out a publication, even with thinking – because of what feels like an onslaught, a maddening, exhilarating manifestation of the world spinning, and spinning me with it, faster and faster and faster, along with the other seven billion. . . .

And who chose to have it this way? Me. (I think.)

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