When I was in Jr. High I knew I needed a computer. So I found a man who built them. I offered to work for him doing yard work for each piece of the computer as he assembled it. First the case, then the mother board, then the harddrive etc. I worked for one piece at a time till I had a basic machine. I brought it home and started manipulating images with windows 3.11 and MS paint.
My computer didn’t have any way to connect to the internet, but the next piece I was working to buy was a 2400bps modem. (For you non computer people out there that’s about 1/40th the speed of your iPhone’s connection). I started telling my friends that soon I would be able to send them an email. Half of them weren’t really sure what email was and the other half didn’t really care. But I was excited.
Eventually I got my first modem, and signed up for a free dial up email service (Juno), and started sending email. I think it had to be one of the most exciting things about my first year in High School. I loved it. I rushed home everyday to hear that wonderful dial up sound and wait for something to download. And then there it was. The email noise, and a real message. Sometimes I even got 2 or 3 messages and I couldn’t wait to reply to them! I LOVED it!
Now here I am 15 years later. My heart still skips a little beat with anticipation every time I hear the email noise. I still pull my iPhone out of my pocket every 10 min to check my mail. In fact I get so many wonderful messages from so many people it’s still often one of the highlights of each day.
But with all that love comes the the downside. The downside is the volume of email, and the time it takes to reply to so many. Ten hours a week typing emails isn’t really all that bad, but I guess it’s just the commitment. The fact that if one day I decided I wanted to stop writing emails I couldn’t. So many lovely people out there waiting for replies just can’t be ignored, and I guess that’s where the hate comes in. I love each and every email, and all the happy faces behind them. But I hate the commitment and the volume of the process.
So let’s do a toast to the wonderful invention of email, and try to forget that it won’t go away even if we want it to.
I was digging through my trunk of random keep sakes looking for an old AOL disk to post. But I think I threw them all away and all I could find was my favorite floppy disk from HS. I remember the days when I could fit my entire photo collection on one of these disks. Now it won’t even hold one photo. =)