Dear Inbox

Dear Inbox,

I wish we were on better terms.  Lately, I feel that our relationship has become strained.  I used to enjoy checking in on you, but now I dread the chime that my cell phone produces every time you have something new to show me.  A pit appears in my stomach, and my anxiety rises.  What will I need to do now?  I wonder.  What project will I need to complete or request will I need to address or fire will I need to extinguish?

I find myself longing for the days when you would fill me with joy and delight, not dread.  Your messages a few years ago were full of sincerity and thoughtfulness.  You connected me to friends and loved ones, and to people I wish I knew, and you made us all happier.  You brought us together.  Now you send me barking orders and generic, impersonal pleasantries.  It's like we're just going through the motions.

Sure, every so often we enjoy a few moments that remind me of the good old days.  I smile as I sit down to spend some time with you, reveling in the information you share with me about my mom's day at work or laughing at the tagline of an inside joke circulating around the office.  And there are a very few instances when I can tell that the words you deliver are full of care and deliberation, and I savor every one of them.

Usually, however, we're playing games.  I attempt to be done with you as quickly as possible, to wash my hands of your demands.  If you leave me empty, drained of energy and enthusiasm, then I want to leave you the same way.  I respond to, delete, or otherwise process everything that you throw my way.  I am not always successful, but I try my darnedest.  Then I move on to bigger, better things.  I am free of your clutches--until next time.

Perhaps, though, we can call a truce.  I may be naive, but I wonder if saw each other less often, if we would be in a better place.  I may not respond immediately.  I may set aside certain times during the day or week to get together instead of always being at your beck-and-call.  It will take some getting used to, but I think we will be better for it.

Until you chime again--ahem--Until we meet again,

Emily Rowell Brown