I suspect that young adults of today have already moved on from email to more immediate forms of communication but it is still an important tool in most work scenarios. It is with some regret then that I must finally concede that the general volume of Spam / CCed email across multiple accounts and on multiple computers has risen to the point where I can no longer guarantee to read every email that is sent to me. I make some attempt at triage when the daily flood comes in and I do endeavour to read and reply to those emails that look important or even just interesting but many mails will never be opened even if they have made it past multiple layers of spam filter.
Email has become a very low grade form of communication. I may read emails sent to me or I may not. If there is something that you absolutely need me to read then you will have to use a different form of communication, sorry. I have been implementing this policy for about a year now and it has caused me surprisingly few problems. Yes I have missed a meeting or two but truth be told I am not sorry to have missed them.
Perhaps I still feel some mild twinge of guilt at the number of unread emails sitting in my inbox but I am thinking of even bypassing this step by automatically flagging all emails as read. I am one who used take pride at keeping my inbox empty and all old emails filed away in carefully named folders. The advent of labels has replaced folders for me and I only bother to label an email if i) I have actually read it and ii) I think I may need to find it later. For the most part if I really need to find an email later I find that searching by the senders name is usually the quickest way to find it.
Small historical footnote - I once wrote a research thesis one of the main findings of which was that use of email was a good indicator of a company being at the forefront of technology.
Non Historical Footnote: I am still searching for a satisfactory way of keeping up with email when using multiple computers. A web email account seems like one solution and I am experimenting with gmail for that purpose but so far I find the interface loathsome. Perhaps it has hidden depths I have yet to find but it seems ridiculously inflexible to me so far.