This morning I realized that I now have seven -- 7! -- email boxes. No secret, either, how I acquired so many, gradually, over time. It began with the first, my personal email. I then opened a general business email, followed by a fiction writing business email. My college alma mater gave me an email box. My email situation remained there for a couple years. Then I decided that my novel series needed its own email, followed six months later by an email for this commentary blog. Finally, I have an email devoted almost exclusively to spam.
|Credit: John Phelan|
However, first class mail has its advantages. It does? Yes. First and foremost it provides complete privacy. It is against the law to steal or open someone else's mail. A first class letter does not go through servers, sit on servers, or get eaten up by servers. Email accounts, unfortunately, can be hacked, the address stolen and used for nefarious purposes. If you use the same username and/or password for your email as you use for other online accounts, especially anything regarding money like online banking or shopping, you are vulnerable to losing a lot of money if they are stolen. The USPS offers a secure, private service with the foundation and experience of over 150 years.
Finally, there's the historical aspect. We know a lot about what everyday life was like for ordinary people at different periods in human history because of the written record they left in the form of personal letters, business letters and diaries. What will our written record consist of? Will the people who own all the servers used for email preserve all those emails, or will they periodically delete them permanently, wiping any written record of everyday life away? I'm no expert, but I have heard that digital files also become corrupted or eroded over time, especially if not used often enough. It makes sense. Paper can also disintegrate if not treated and cared for.
Snail mail rocks! I will continue to write first class letters and cards to my friends and family, and business letters to those with whom I do business. I prefer to have a hard copy record that I can file away for future reference. And I also prefer the buzz of happiness and excitement I get when I see those first class letters in my mailbox, a feeling I rarely experience with email....