Holy engorged monkey bottoms, Batman! This “experiment” is almost over. Which is to say March is drawing to a close, so I can soon stop using the world’s worst phone. But this isn’t a post about the world’s worst phone (which is surprisingly not a Droid Razr, a hybrid of two of the most fickle phones ever made.) Phones will be another post, assuming I ever get around to making one.
As intrepid readers of this blog might note, I didn’t fully engage with this experiment the way I had planned. I did register two new email accounts (AOL and Yahoo) to use for my personal correspondence. I did email my friends and family to let them know to contact me using those for the foreseeable future. I did change my social networking accounts and others I use regularly (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, NYPL, Amazon, Drugstore.com, Seamless-don’t-you-judge-me) to logins/contact details associated with the new email addresses. And that’s about it. I didn’t switch over accounts that I haven’t used this month, which means there’s a bunch of unread stuff waiting for me over at GMail. Including a bunch of emails from forgetful friends, and some Irene Adler-esque dinner invitations from Barack Obama. I’m not hungry, Barry. Why would I have dinner if I’m not hungry?
This has driven home how little actual (i.e. personal) email I get. Fully 90% of my email is nonsense from mailing lists I’ve ended up on over the years. A further 7% is relevant, but not personal (i.e. purchase receipts, credit card statements), leaving only 3% or so that is personal correspondence. FYI these numbers are unscientific, in that they were fished from the aforementioned protuberant buttocks of a libidinous bonobo*.
It’s very freeing, considering the amount of email I have to wade through at work, to only get a couple of messages a day. Actually it’s not a huge change, considering I usually ignore most of my email unless GMail marks it as being of high importance. That’s a feature I wouldn’t mind seeing from AOL or Yahoo. It’s also further proof that Google products are ideal for lazy people such as yours truly. It’s like having a really incompetent robot PA to pre-screen your messages. How did you know that I don’t care about my Sallie Mae statement this month, but I really need to get this 10% off deal on all P&G products from Drugstore.com? Thanks incompetent robot PA! You’re
the best generally OKish!
In addition to convenient modifications for lazy people (+ Gchat right in your email!), GMail also has the least obtrusive ads of the three services I’ve used. AOL and Yahoo both have much larger, more obnoxious ads. Colors! Moving images! After you send an email, AOL even re-routes you to a page featuring ads and their news stories. Neither service takes you directly to your mailbox upon login, but rather to their news sites. GMail takes you right to your mailbox (or your Google account main page) and all their ads are text based. That’s swell. They also generally trust that you’re a person, or at least they don’t discriminate against you if you’re a robot. Yahoo will sometimes make you fill out a Captcha before you can send your email, which is very annoying.
Now that I have so many email accounts I will have to decide where to route my messages in the future. Should I make my AOL account exclusively for financial stuff? Should my Yahoo account be linked to all my social networking profiles? Should I register a Hotmail account to sign petitions with and give to probable spammers? I like not having to look at that stuff. Then I can use my Gmail account (note how I’m not planning to continue this past April 1st) for real mail, and only real mail. What a thrill!
*I’m currently reading The Fry Chronicles. You know who to blame for the word choices in this sentence.