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Hey Diddle Diddle, Stop Making Me Check Email

November 9, 2016

I do cartoons for Fiddler Magazine.

Am I a fiddler? No. Just a hack guitarist. But I love reading about fiddlers and their music. Fascinating people, and a truly unique niche.

My latest cartoon had some fun with a famous Mother Goose rhyme:blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Hey, diddle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon;
The little dog laughed
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

The Fiddler cartoons are published in B&W, but I decided to add color to this one, and offer it as a print in my online store.blank vertical space, 32 pixels high
cartoon based on Mother Goose nursery rhyme Hey Diddle Diddle cow accusing cat with fiddle of making him jump over moon little dog laughs dish running away with spoon

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highBad cow! Blaming the fiddler for his moon-jumping obsession… for shame! : )BlankVertSpace.8pixelsBlankVertSpace.8pixels

I got thinking about obsessive behavior, and decided I’m a lot like that dumb cow.

Why? Because I check email probably 20 times a day– or more!

It’s almost always spam and other junk– so why do I check it so often?BlankVertSpace.8pixelsBlankVertSpace.8pixels

Have you ever heard the expression dancing to someone’s tune? It means to always obey someone who has power over you.

I decided I’m dancing to the tune of FOMO: the Fear Of Missing Out. Sometimes you see it expressed as a hashtag: #FOMO. It’s the same fear that salesman play on when they tell us: “You must act now!! Offer good for a limited time only!! Don’t wait, call now!!”BlankVertSpace.8pixelsBlankVertSpace.8pixels

I decided to turn the cartoon into an infographic to remind myself that constantly checking email is a big waste of time– time I should be spending on assignments, marketing, networking, and other goals.

I’m taking the pledge: I’m through being a dumb cow and a slave to FOMO and checking email– no sir, I ain’t gonna do it no moo!!blank vertical space, 32 pixels high
cartoon based on Mother Goose nursery rhyme Hey Diddle Diddle cow accusing cat with fiddle of making him check his email many times a day for fear of missing out #FOMO little dog laughs dish running away with spoon

blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

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Any other email addicts out there? Do you have a coping mechanism? Please leave a comment.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to recommend it, please click the Like button below. To share it, click Tweet, Facebook, or one of the other Share buttons.

You might also enjoy this post about why it pays to “think funny.” Humor can help us solve problems by freeing us up to think more creatively.

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About Mark: I’m an illustrator specializing in humor, branding, social media, and content marketing. I create images that get content seen and shared.

You can view my portfolio, and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Questions? Send me an email.blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. November 9, 2016 4:29 PM

    I think overcoming FOMO is a matter of stepwise priorities. How I address e-mail includes filtering messages (so then I can decide which ones are most important to read), and also managing e-mail subscriptions. If there are some e-mails that I’m really not reading- time to unsubscribe.

    That said- I gave up on reading every e-mail message a long time ago. This extends to other social media- I don’t try to read every Twitter message anymore.


    • November 16, 2016 8:48 PM

      Hi, Jak! My apologies for my tardy response here. Sounds like you’ve got a system– excellent. I could profit from your example! And I agree: trying to read everything is hopeless. Email, tweets, blog posts– it never ends! Something’s gotta be done!!– and I hope you’ll let me know what when you’ve figured it out… : )

      Good to hear from you, hope you and yours are well– cheers, amigo!


  2. November 11, 2016 1:06 AM

    A moo-st amusing post. I also check my email some 12 or 15 times a day. It’s insane, and a good chunk is just nonsense, even though I’ve unsubscribed from some of these senders. I have to cut back on that big time. I think I’ll use this post as a way to get myself off this.


    • November 16, 2016 8:54 PM

      Ha! It’s good (??) to know I’m not alone in my addiction– we shall battle on together!!

      I’m very glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks so much for your kind comment. : )

      Liked by 1 person

  3. soul . to . earth permalink
    November 11, 2016 11:35 AM

    You are not alone (or so sang Michael Jackson). I leave Thunderbird with 4 email accounts open all day ‘just in case’. Just in case what and why, dearie?! 🙂 To help my own case, I’m not on any social media sites. Otherwise, it would drive me bananas! [If that happened, I’d burst into the tally me bananas song! 😉 XD ]

    As always, I can count on you to make me laugh! Your cow’s expression reminded me of the holy Indian cow whose regal parking or jaywalking on roads leads to traffic jams! 😀

    In response to your bovine….ooops…I mean divine humour, a cursory rhyme:

    Hey diddle, diddle,
    Holy cow, it’s no riddle,
    Mark, your talent is o’er the moon!
    You make us laugh
    while we’re in your court.
    What you dish out here is such a great boon!


    • November 17, 2016 2:40 PM

      Michael Jackson?? He didn’t jump over the moon, he walked on it. I was up there at the time, and taught him how to do it. Yup, my astro-nut training comes in handy sometimes… : )

      My dear Radhika!! A thousand and one (I’m feeling really guilty) apologies for this late response! I was watching Bend It Like Beckham, and thinking about you. We’ve gotta get you on the Ganges Club soccer team– we could use the help!!

      You have 4 email accounts?? Hey, I knew you were popular, but Day-O, mon!– tally up me spam and me wan’ go Trash!

      Glad you enjoyed the moo-cow humor. Any cow that checks his email all day long is clearly a profane cow, not a holy cow. Ever hear of a New York Yankee Baseball Hall Of Famer named Phil Rizzuto? He went into broadcasting after his playing days, and was famous for exclaiming “Holy cow!” whenever anything exciting happened on the field. Perhaps he’d gotten stuck in a Mumbai traffic jam at some point, and was exclaiming from personal experience… : )

      (I’m afraid I couldn’t get that traffic jam link to work, FWIW, so I had to settle for plain ol’ traffic peanut butter.)

      Loved your spritely poem, it made me jump over the moon with delight. My trousers caught on the jagged tip, however, and now I’ve got the wind up… : (

      Your comments are a boon and make me laugh like a loon, hope you’re well, and all is swell, rub-a-dub-dub, see you down at The Club!! : )

      Liked by 1 person

      • soul . to . earth permalink
        November 17, 2016 4:33 PM

        I’d forgotten MJ’s famous moon-walk, dear Mr. Astronut.

        Two accounts are solely for newsletters, placing online orders, etc, with just the one for family & friends. The fourth is soon to be deleted coz it’s yahoo and was part of the recent ‘hacking’. Didn’t affect me but it’s why I maintain separate accounts. Sorry, nuthin’ to do w/ popularity whatsoever! 😉

        That inserted link is such a pain, I dunno why it’s insecure…..oops….I mean unsecure. It’s quite an interesting read that would leave your Phil Rizzuoto speechless! 😀


  4. November 13, 2016 11:05 AM

    There you are! I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled..and, then, my heart smiled…I love the childhood segue/cartoon….and how it paved the way for reflections on fear of disconnection—missing out. I have no prob avoiding checking personal emails–but, I can relate to the vague worry that I might miss an important opportunity if I “tune out” on any number of levels…although I keep a low technology/social media profile, it isn’t long before I worry that people will give up on checking on me/looking for me. As such, I am trying to post more often and regularly read blog posts…rather than read two or three (of one person’s) at a time…great read as always….thanks for sharing 🙂


    • November 18, 2016 9:53 AM

      My dear Truly!! Fear not!! Despite your low social media profile, you are an acknowledged colossus of cyberspace! As such, you may be sure that your many fans will always beat a digital path to your door– especially me, altho I haven’t been getting out much lately… : )

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, cow-moo-moon… there’s a natural association there. I’m not sure I understand the eloping tableware. Clearly there are more things in nursery rhymes and fairy tales, Horatio, than are dreamt of in Philosophy 101… : )

      Hope you are well, and I promise to jump over the moon and visit your blog soon!! : )

      Liked by 1 person

  5. November 21, 2016 7:34 AM

    Very interesting Mark your gig for Fiddler Magazine! Congrats. 🙂

    Are you going to go on a whirlwind twirl of fiddlers comic characters tour de force? –Irish, Louisiana, etc.


    • November 23, 2016 3:52 PM

      Ha! Thanks, Jean! Some of my fiddler comic characters are off the beaten track– like this one, for example… : )

      Getting ready to celebrate our American Thanksgiving tomorrow– and my sister (who lives in the Southern tier of New York State) reports that she got 15″ of snow on Monday. When?– when are we gonna get smart and celebrate Thanksgiving in October like you very sensible Canadians??

      Always good to see you, thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

      • November 23, 2016 7:02 PM

        I love that comic, Mark! Very witty and well-done.

        By the way, I met my lst blogger-reader of my blog (and hers) this summer. She came from northern part of NY state and was visiting a relative in my city. We talked skeletally about U.S. presidential candidates at that time.


        • November 23, 2016 9:21 PM

          Thanks, Jean! That must have been exciting to meet a fan who reads your blog. I talked skeletally to a guy once– he was hanging from a support rod in Anatomy class, and looked a bit anorexic… : )


        • November 24, 2016 7:30 AM



  6. November 21, 2016 7:35 AM

    I don’t have an iPhone so can’t get obsessed about email checking yet. When I travel, I check my email twice a day.


    • November 23, 2016 3:56 PM

      I don’t have a mobile phone, either. But I do sit at a desktop computer most of the day, and thus I often fall victim to the siren song of email. I’m gonna ask Santa to bring me some will power for Christmas… : )

      Liked by 1 person

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