The FBI found 650,000 emails on a laptop used by former Rep. Anthony Weiner and his estranged wife Huma Abedin, an aide to Hillary Clinton, right?
Their reaction to this trove was “Gee, some of them might have been to or from Hillary herself so we’d better look into this.”
My reaction was, “Six hundred and fifty thousand emails? Holy cow, when did these people sleep?”
The answer is probably never. Or at least not much.
I did a little math.
Say they spent an average of one minute per email, which is certainly reasonable since many emails take a lot longer than that.
Six hundred and fifty thousand divided by the number of minutes in an hour is 10,833 hours.
That’s a lot of hours – 451 days worth of hours, in fact.
The stories didn’t say how long the Weiners owned and used the laptop, but let’s say it was three years, which is reasonable length of time given the general crappy quality of laptops these days.
That means they spent a full third of their time over the course of those three years composing, reading or sending emails, and that’s not even including time for sleeping, eating or Mr. Weiner’s hobby of sending creepy selfies of his “little friend” to females.
Even if they owned it for five years, that’s a boatload of emails and a huge chunk of their lives they’ll never get back.
There’s gotta be a lesson for the rest of us in there somewhere. If so, maybe it’s this: We waste too much precious time reading and writing emails.
Life happened before emails, you know. And before texts, tweets, Facebook or emoticons, too. Factories ran, newspapers published, children were born, people died — all of life, in fact, proceeded pretty much as it does today, all without benefit of instant communication.
I like to think I wouldn’t miss email or texting if they’d never been invented. Millennials, however, would probably be lost if tech devises suddenly disappeared or stopped working.
Millennial: “How am I going to contact my clients?”
Me: “Send them a letter.”
Millennial: “What’s that?”
Me: “It’s where you write with a pen or a pencil on a piece of paper. Then you seal it in an envelope and put it in your mailbox and wait three days for it to be delivered and another three days, if you’re lucky, to get a response.”
Millennial: “Too slow. I’ll text them instead.”
Me: “The cellphones are all dead too. You’ll have to go talk to them.”
Millennial: “You mean like face to face?”
Me: “Yes, face to face. Is that a problem?”
Millennial: “It’s just … thwump!”
That’ll be the sound of them fainting and hitting the floor after realizing they might have to actually talk to another human being to get something done.
Don’t worry. A month of binge watching and they’ll be just fine.
Image credit: Sebastien Wiertz