6.18.2014

Tech For Thought: You've Got Mail.


56K. AOL. Instant Messaging. Ah, the good ole days. I don't know about you guys, but back in the day, email was the SH*T. And I'm talking like, before even AIM was a thing. Before instant messaging became a hit, all we had in terms of digital communication was e-mail. Whether you were engaging in chat rooms with random and potentially creepy strangers or just trying to update your relatives from across the world, e-mail was the prime way to communicate. 

I remember having everything from pen pals to friends that lived 10 mins away from me, writing me emails. It used to be exciting waking up to see what friends and new friends might have written me back. And even after instant messaging became a trend, emails were still used as a way to send messages to people. Not everyone was online all the time back then. If you don't know the struggle of having to wait for your parents to finish using the phone just to go online for an hour, you probably bathed in a life of luxury. 

Even up until high school, my best friends and I were always emailing each other. We wrote long emails back and forth updating one another of our daily lives. Wait, what am I talking about? I still do that NOW! My closest friends sadly do not live very close to me. And as adults, we are stricken with busy lives and schedules that don't always fit. There's also the luxury of being able to email each other during work lol. I've never forgotten how useful email was for things other just 'work'. 

Let's face it, even if many of us do use emails to still communicate with others on a leisurely basis, most of our emails are flooded with spam, updates, work related and the likes. The most exciting thing I can look forward to most of the time is whether or not my online order shipped. For many years I used the same email address for absolutely everything. It got to a point where I would miss my friend's emails from Korea because they were buried in a bunch of junk. So I took the initiative one day and decided to organize my email life. GMAIL makes it really easy to link your email accounts into one master Google account so I have a separate email for just JUNK and signing up for things online. I highly recommend people do this because missing a personal email is never fun. 

The first thing I do every morning is check my email. Instead of the excitement I used to get as a kid, I now get a bit nervous. Especially if I'm working with a client. There's the fear that they want a massive amount of changes or at worst, want to cancel work. It happens. And it's never a good feeling. Or the nervous feelings of awaiting a reply from potential employers and clients. Will they reject my proposal? Will they go through with it? If the latter, will things work out? Will this client be legitimate or will this employer like me? Everything goes back to the stress of work with emails. It doesn't help that there are new updates -- about my student loans. I thought about this the other day, and how drastically different I feel about checking my emails as opposed to a few years ago. Of course, it's inevitable that everything becomes more stressful as you get older. As a kid I only had to worry about school and school never emailed me (not until college anyway...). But it's almost unique in how the same kind of technology can make you feel so different. Hearing "You've Got Mail" was one of the most exciting things when I had my first computer. I thought about why they took that feature away but then quickly realized why. All we would ever hear is, "you've got mail. you've got mail. you've got mail. you've got mail..." like every 10 minutes. 

We will never stop utilizing email no matter how far into the future we get. It is essentially, the most BASIC communication tool in our digital world. Even more basic than texting, because texting is informal. Email covers all occasions. Whether it's personal, professional or leisure. But don't kill the leisure aspect of emailing. Create a separate email for all the fun stuff and let the stressful emails be contained in their respectful accounts. I even have a third email address just for leisurely things. I get updates from websites I love or blogs I follow. This is a place for me to visit every night before bed, just to read up on some of my favorite blogs. There are ways to make emails more than just a stressful place. And creating a special account for the things that you love, gives you something to look forward to again in the lost art of the 'e-mail'. 

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