I crave information, I just love reading the news to see what’s new, what’s happening and what’s out there. It’s getting to a point where I could spend all day catching up on news feeds and reading articles on the Internet, but there’s a catch: I’m married and I have a day job.
When I was at university information sources on the Internet were limited; there wasn’t the news presence that there is now, for a start the BBC didn’t have an online presence until mid way through my course! The main source of information was through news groups. There was also the option of BBS, but this could get expensive as you had to dial into the BBS to access information. This method also had the disadvantage of having to know a local phone number for the BBS.
Communication was also simple, I had my University email address as Yahoo, Hotmail and GMail/Google Mail didn’t exist.
Once I left University I had started at a company that didn’t have a dedicated link to the Internet. I had a company email address, but no way to access the Internet. I signed up with various ISP’s, CompuServe, Demon, MSN, to name a few, switching when I found a cheaper one. With each ISP came a new email address which I used until I switched. Yahoo and Hotmail also came into existence. In order to use Yahoo’s or Microsoft’s sites you were forced into setting up a yahoo account, or passport account, and with it the email accounts. Of which I have both.
Currently I have a Gmail, Hotmail, yahoo, my own hosted site and my Microsoft work email address. There are also new social sites that let you communicate, so I also get messages from LinkedIn and FaceBook and Twitter. Microsoft, Google and Yahoo have also entered the IM arena, so I also get messages via MSN Messenger and GTalk. I don’t get messages from Yahoo as I haven’t installed that, although today I did get an invite from my Mum to use Yahoo messenger!
It has got to a point where I’m thinking do I really need all of these? I have to use my work email to do my job. I only really need one personal email address for non work emails. I could use my work email, but there are corporate guides, and issues with abuse, and there’s always one friend who will send you a none work safe image! So, which email do I stop using, Google, Hotmail or Yahoo? I like Google as the way it handles email conversations is so natural it makes using it a bliss. I have to keep Hotmail for passport for my MSDN access. I do like yahoo games & groups but hate their email as their spam filter is not that good. So I could delete yahoo, but I do like those games.
Should I delete LinkedIn and Facebook? LinkedIn says it brings together my professional network, Facebook says it’s a social utility that connects me to the people around me. Other thank being nosey and seeing who knows who and what people are up to, do I really need these two sites? I’ve not found a job via LinkedIn, I use job sites when I’ve looked for jobs in the past. So other than seeing what old friends and colleagues are doing I don’t find it that useful. My sister in law and her husband both use Facebook and rated it quite highly so I signed up to see what all the fuss was. At first it was interesting, there were more friends on Facebook than LinkedIn and Facebook has status’s so you can write what you’re up to or feeling and your friends can keep informed. I’ve since gone off Facebook; I made the mistake of installing Superwall! Superwall is an app whose main purpose appears to be the rapid spreading of spam between Facebookers. Fortunately you can uninstall apps, which I’ve done for most of them and it’s got the point where I’m thinking, what’s the point?
If I want to know which friends are free to go for a meal, I can email and ask. So it all boils down to, what do I really need? The answer I’m thinking is an email address. I can find jobs by emailing my CV, I can find out what people are doing by emailing and asking if they’re free for a meal. If any friends have news and they really want me to know about it, they’d email or phone, so I don’t really need any of the other stuff, but can I delete it all? I’m not sure.