How FIU Panthers Can Fight Email Fatigue

Jennifer Peña/Staff Writer

If you regularly access your FIU student Gmail account like I do, you’ve probably experienced regular streams of emails too overwhelming to dive into. Maybe you’ve gotten a promotional email (or several) from the bookstore almost every day over the past two weeks, like I have. Or maybe Canvas sends you notifications every time someone asks if there’s a group chat for the classes you share.

While we may rely on emails to contact professors and stay updated on what’s happening around campus, sometimes the constantly updating feed can be too much. This can lead to students experiencing email fatigue.

Media specialist Dan Baum defines email fatigue as “a state that occurs when consumers get tired of receiving email,” mainly thanks to irrelevant information or too much of it. According to a 2017 Edison Software report, email fatigue is experienced by nearly 75% of Americans. 

Maybe the sight of six unread emails makes you want to look away and close your browser window. With that said, there are ways to lessen the effects of email fatigue in your student email. While some people are detoxing as part of their New Year’s resolutions, you can do a digital detox that starts right in your student inbox.

If you use Gmail, you can sort your inbox based on the type of email, meaning that you can have both Primary and Promotions sections. You can do the same in Outlook with the “Focused Inbox” option. 

As a student who has taken classes at both Modesto Maidique Campus and Biscayne Bay Campus, I often receive duplicate emails – one copy of the same promotional email from both campus bookstores. Those are mixed in with emails that really need attention, which I often mark with a star to make them easier to find later.

By dividing my inbox, I see fewer emails at a time and can focus on the more important ones first. A split inbox prevents me from feeling overwhelmed by too many unread emails at once, especially when half of them are usually promotional. 

There are other solutions, such as unsubscribing from email lists. If you’re really involved on campus (or would like to be), then you may receive emails from specific student groups. Removing yourself from email lists is an option if you no longer want to participate in a group. Otherwise, doing so might not be your first choice for optimizing your email experience. 

Another possible solution for Gmail users is to click on the star next to emails you want to remember later. This also prevents important emails from getting lost in a stream of other, possibly less important ones. Dividing your inbox by category can help organize and prioritize information, too.

The next time you sign into your student email, consider these tips to make your email experience less daunting. An organized student inbox may be just a few clicks (and tabs) away.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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