If you are like me, then you probably have several e-mail addresses. Problem for me though, is determining which one to use for various groups of people or situations. Which address to give out for my family? How about friends? How about acquaintances? How about those websites that require you to register with an e-mail address just to view their content or post messages? What about for online shopping?
Determining which address to use has been somewhat of a headache for me, and the people I keep in touch with most often. My first true e-mail address was my school account when I started college back in 1995. My username was not anything creative or cool, just my last name followed by my first initial and then middle initial. That was the address I used all through school. But as the internet began to expand, different service providers offered different benefits, and thus I had to register with one of their domains such as Yahoo!, Netscape, and Microsoft. I recall most people back then used America Online (AOL), as they used that as their service to connect to the internet via dial-up. Soon enough, cable providers such as Comcast and Verizon came on the scene to offer broadband connections. Thus, the internet-hungry crowd jumped on that bandwagon to get their content faster than before.
Upon graduation from college, I got a job, got my own place, and thus signed up for my cable company's broadband connection (Comcast). They allowed me to use up to seven e-mail addresses. Fortunately, I did not need all of them, just one. So at this point, I had seven active e-mail addresses: my work, my school, Comcast, Yahoo!, Netscape, MSN, and Xoommail. My school account automatically closed six months after graduation, and Netscape/Xoommail were gobbled up by other providers. I switched from Comast to Verizon a few years later as Verizon services were cheaper (saved me ~$40/month). I still have my Yahoo! and MSN accounts, but both attract a lot of SPAM - sure, most of them go directly to their SPAM filters, but I still do not like having to clean out that box of 50+ e-mails daily.
I initially signed up for Yahoo! and MSN as they offered a great source for uploading photos and other files. However, they soon shut off that service. Furthermore, my Yahoo! account has been breached a few times by those programs that send out SPAM to other people. Thus, I am trying to close out that account - or just keep it for registering for internet content that I do not want to get annoyed with on a daily basis. I had to create a G-Mail account when I got my Android smartphone several months ago, and I am using that account quite often now.
A part of me wishes that each person should be assigned one e-mail address and one phone number at birth, and that is the one that must stick with them for the rest of their lives. Of course, this will never fly in a non-communist society. But just imagine how more simplistic life would be if we only had one method of being contacted?
So to date, I have had 12 different e-mail addresses:
- School (actually had 2 at school, but really only used one of them)
- Work (3 different companies)
Never had a Compuserve or AOL e-mail address (although did have an AIM account).
Same holds true for phone numbers, as I have had 12 different phone numbers over the same time span - but the same cell phone number over the past 10 years (thank goodness for porting). However, the difference between the two is that e-mail addresses can follow you no matter where you move to around the world - land line phone numbers do not. But this list will continue to grow as well with the emergence of Google Voice and as folks are ditching their landlines for cellular ones.
Just curious to see if anyone out there has had more accounts?