In the past two months, I have been given three new email addresses, one for work and two for academic studies. Each of the new addresses is attached to a secure Office 365 account, so it seems that I can only check my mail by logging in. Electronic mail was intended to save time and money, but seems to have increased rather than decreased the amount of time demanded in writing communications. Multiple email addresses simply bring multiple batches of mail with which to deal.
I do not understand why there is a need for so many email addresses. If I lived at one postal address, all of my letters would come to that address, why can there not be similarly secure email addresses?
A multiplicity of email addresses was not a sensible option when I first went online in February 1997. Email came with a monthly subscription to a service provider, a company in the United States. The address was the easily forgettable email@example.com. There was some provision to personalise it, but a personalised email address seemed to smack of narcissism in times when email was a strictly serious matter.
The idea of paying for email seemed silly by 1999. Ocean Telecommunications, an Irish subsidiary of British Telecom, offered free addresses. The Oceanfree address was kept for years as the one that appeared in church directories, it caught all of the ecclesiastical junk. Ocean had a sister company, Ireland Online, and another account was opened to take the stress from the Oceanfree box.
Neither of the BT companies, however, offered the bells and whistles of Hotmail, so a third account was opened, more to be used for messaging than mail.
By 2005, Gmail was established. Joining was by invitation, but there were websites where one could go to request an invite. A nice person in Asia, who had sent hundreds of invitations, sent me the necessary link and what remains my principle email account was opened.
The following year, reconnecting the telephone number to Eircom brought an Eircom email address. The connection and address were desirable in ordering goods online from companies who preferred clients to have fixed line telephone accounts, so as to be easily traceable.
In 2007 came the sixth email address. This blog was given a new address on a new server and the move brought an email address based on the blog name.
Six optional email addresses should have been more than enough, particularly as only three were active, but a Vodafone billpay account in 2010 brought with it a Vodafone email address, which has never been used for anything. Buying an iPhone in 2011, brought an Apple address. In 2012, opening a Flickr account meant having a Yahoo address.
The Oceanfree, IOL, Hotmail and Eircom addresses have gone, but the Gmail, Yahoo and Apple ones are still live, as is the one for this blog. With three new addresses, the total stands at seven.
Life was much simpler when mail landed on a single doormat,