Sending this email, doing all that unsubscribing, took time. Instead of taking one second to hit "delete," I was spending 10 seconds on every email. However, I did it. I wanted people to know that it was unprofessional to spam the entire media world with their announcements. The best PR people I know are the ones who take a few minutes to do a little research on the reporters they're pitching. Those folks create compelling, relevant pitches, increasing their odds of success.
More than anything, however, I wanted to see a decline in frivolous inbox traffic.
The email situation, if anything, has gotten worse. I fear that by "unsubscribing," I have secretly alerted the very people I wanted to avoid to my actual existence. They see rejection as interest.
The only solution is to start charging for email, or at least some email. How about a system where you could have a list of contacts (friends, family, colleagues, vendors, clients) who could email you for free, a list you could expand as necessary? Anyone outside that list would have to pay to send you email. Overnight, the cavalcade of crap would stop.
Am I right? Let me know what you think (but not via email). Oh wait, here's another one I just received: "Starting to think about your holiday gift guides, Jane?" No, I'm not.