For those of us who long to be free from our free email accounts, there is now a temporary solution.
Inbox Pause, a Chrome-only extension for Gmail, adds a button to the Gmail interface allowing users to effectively stop any mail traffic from coming into the Inbox. More than that, it also features an away message capability to let others know that you've paused your mail.
Un-pausing, much to my relief, is as easy as pausing. And Inbox Pause doesn't just shut down email from coming into Chrome - it keeps incoming mail in a special folder in the Gmail account, so phone syncs and other browsers see the same perceived benefit.
This communication time-out was developed by Baydin Inc., the creators of Boomerang for Gmail, Boomerang for Outlook, and The Email Game. It was first spotted by Zee over at thenextweb on August 31st, and has been making the rounds since.
The install for Inbox Pause is as painless as any other Chrome extension; just click the download link, give the extension permission to run, and refresh.
The only visible change to the Gmail interface is the addition of the pause button, though a yellow bar appears at the top of the page while email is being paused.
So Inbox Pause works, and does just what it says it does, but the most troubling component to this add-on is exactly that it seems so appealing, that there's a market for this at all.
Regardless, you can find the download for Inbox Pause for Chrome (and maybe some peace and digital quiet) here: Inbox Pause