I think e-mails are the greatest form of social communication that are available to mankind. Granted, receiving a letter still gives me more happiness, but it’s rare that people actually take time out to send letters.
Hence, I will do a millennial thing (wow, I’m using youth lingo), and compare the joy of receiving a letter to the joy of e-mailing.
I still recall how overjoyed I was at registering for my first e-mail account. Back in the day, Yahoo! was still the top search engine and the default on Internet Explorer if you used Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo Messenger. My grandfather had a Yahoo! account, and as a consequence, considering that he was responsible for my technology education, I ended up getting one too.
That sequence of events is one I remember very, very clearly.
So, it’s 2003/04, right? And Tata’s chilling in Dubai on what I think is his second trip to the city. We’ve just come back from a walk, and I’m drinking juice on the green sofa we have (which my parents would have really not appreciated), and watching Magic’s Greatest Secrets: Revealed, while it’s being recorded on a VHS Tape on AXN. Post that, we opened up the laptop, and I got around to doing some Typing Tutor. I detested it, but I pretended to enjoy it because it gave me a chance to play around on the laptop – which, at that age was all I wanted. I think Typing is one of those things my generation picked up pretty automatically, as opposed to the previous generation learning from a typewriter and immediately adapting those skills to the keyboard layout we have today. But that’s for another time.
On that day, Tata decided it was time for me to get an e-mail ID. I was so pumped. I could do so much (I didn’t know what, but the excitement of something new was real.) We opened up Yahoo! and he asked me whether I wanted a “yahoo.com” ID or not. I rejected the idea instantly. Then I saw a “yahoo.co.uk” option. Being the Anglophile I am, there was no way I wasn’t going to get me one of those. So I did. And that’s where my interwebs journey began.
A couple of years later, my dad moved to India, and he was on Gmail – so for the sake of convenience, I decided to open an account there as well. This was back when Gmail had the “XXXX GB of space (and counting….)” advertisement on the sign-up page – to try to get us to sign-up. I fell for the bait, hook, line & slinger. And Gmail opened up my world like nothing else had.
My first RuneScape account (of 5), my Club Penguin, my SoundCloud. Everything was linked to it. I didn’t get many mails back then – just a lot of GTalk chats. But every single mail was one I spent time reading.
Which brings me to my point. Nowadays, I don’t read half the mail I get. Because it’s useless spam I’m unable to unsubscribe from. Like Jabong.
I bought 1 pair of shoes 5 years ago for a classmate’s birthday. And I haven’t been able to unsubscribe from “Summer Stylezz” since. My life, man.
So receiving e-mails from people makes me really happy. Especially ones I need to communicate responses to in order to continue the conversation. I’m happy to report I have two e-mail friends, whom I no longer WhatsApp (except for “When can we meet?” or “Are you buying me idli today?”).
If you want to be a part of this clique, I invite you to send me an e-mail. The ID is firstname.lastname@example.org
Go for it!