It’s always weird when I realized I haven’t checked my e-mail in a month.
Well, it wasn’t all my e-mail. Like most internet junkies, I make sure to routinely check my inbox for new messages several times a day, though I’m proud to say I’ve moved away from the habit of sitting at my desktop and pounding the refresh key every 5 minutes…
But I have one e-mail address that, more and more, I keep forgetting to check. It is one of three main addresses I’ve got – one with hotmail, one with yahoo, and one with gmail. (This doesn’t account for the numerous addresses made for all manner of ulterior purposes, from roleplaying games to nefarious world plotting.)
The hotmail account came first, and I eventually upgraded to yahoo because I liked it better, and eventually to gmail, ’cause I liked it best.
But I never really phased out the old emails. I still had mailing lists that went to them that I couldn’t be bothered to change. I’ve got old friends whom I never see anymore who have that email as the only means of contacting me. There are countless documents on the web that mention my name and list that email alone. And in the end, it only takes a few moments time to check the old emails.
So I’ve kept them around, ignored the growing spam they recieve, and occasionally rescue some email or another from the festering morass.
But I hadn’t checked my hotmail account in a month.
That came as a shock to me. I mean, I’m a pretty wired guy, and even for an email account that is no longer my primary, it still receives a solid amount of traffic from friends and associates. The spam it gets is annoying, but only that and nothing more. I didn’t stop checking the email out of effort… I just forgot about it.
The internet is an easy world to misplace things. The websites and email addresses of our youth are eventually forgotten, and left to 404 away into oblivion. No different than most things in life, but, as elsewhere, the internet moves at a much faster velocity.
Part of what worries me about this sort of thing is that I have, as some may say, a fucking shitty memory.
There’s too much crap about books and gaming and comics and whatnot shoved in there, I suppose, so that recalling events from a few years back results in hazy memory – at best – and further back, nothing more.
So it is that I rely on saved e-mails and old diaries and all other manner of electronic artifacts to preserve the past. Not the most substantial things to place my memories in, admittedly.
Now, losing those things… it isn’t the end of the world. So I can’t remember or find my first website, first e-mail address. So what? It isn’t truly worth getting worked up over – and I’m not really that upset.
But nonetheless, it bothers me. I could lose all those emails, all those files. I might not notice. I might carry on, and might not even note the loss – I might not even remember anything of significance was in there. Which doesn’t mean that it is insignificant – it just makes the loss a bit more scary.
Just a reminder of the impermanence of things, I suppose.
Ok, that was a lousy segue. Meh. But it is something on my mind, and I plan to go much more in depth on it. Today you had to listen to me wax philosophical about freaking e-mail; tomorrow, I’ll talk about Something Positive, and Milholland’s special touch with crafting characters we love to hate!