Emails have a lot to answer for

Barbara Ellen
Priyanka Chopra at the Dubai International Film Festival. Photograph: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

The Bollywood actor, and potential bridesmaid to Meghan Markle, Priyanka Chopra, has been revealed to have more than a quarter of a million (257,623) unread emails on her smartphone. Chopra’s actor friend, Alan Powell, “outed” her, wondering if anyone could beat it? The short answer seems to be: erm, nope. Although people seemed happy to admit to hundreds, even thousands, of disregarded emails.

Jeez, give the emails to me – I’ll read them for you, including the helpful hints for enlarging your penis. Chopra could be missing important messages from Markle. (“Where r u? U wanna be bridesmaid or not? Don’t u think ‘H’ is gud enuff 4 me? LOL!”). More generally, I had no idea that non-relationship-based email ghosting was a thing.

Personally, I’m not up to it. My email accounts take it in turns to collapse. I have two: one of them gets all the attention, while the other is like a neglected goldfish that’s always at the brink of going belly up. Whenever I check on the neglected goldfish account, I end up berating myself for being so rude as to leave an email unanswered … for three whole days!

Meanwhile, others serenely ignore mountains of emails, and not all of them would be spam. You could say that it’s just good old-fashioned rudeness, but I’m not so sure. It could be more about healthy levels of confidence: people who are so sure of themselves that they don’t think they need to instantly deal with every social or professional overture or their lives will burn down around them.

Whereas I’m the type who’d apologise to a Viagra ad for not getting back to them quickly enough.

So, in a way, good for Chopra – for having enough self-assurance to ignore the relentless prattle of the modern world.