It’s funny (and necessary) when i check on my parent’s email accounts to see if “all is well”.
As usual there would be lot of junk/spam/newsletters. For example, i would have mentioned a website/service for my father to check it out. He always manages to sign up for the newsletter unintentionally/intentionally adding more clutter to the inbox.
The primary/promotion/social tabs don’t fool anyone. My parents have no idea about that! That makes sense only to the Power users. Why did it ever get enabled for my parents?
My father’s primary task on email right now is to find the right “mate” for our male golden retriever and a bride for his son, my brother [What a situation!!! no bias here though we love our dog more :-P]
So, there is “hell” of Spam in his inbox from “e-com” websites regarding pets for “sale” [well, that is the reality 🙁 ] and lots of profile matches for my brother’s matrimonial profile on various matrimonial websites. How would you solve this? In a country where “arranged” marriages are a norm even in urban areas, my father has taken to technology to solve this situation. It is not just my parents but other urban families too have jumped on the online matrimonial bandwagon.
In fact, few of my friends & relatives were hitched this way. It is no longer “uncool”, it has become a necessity as many of them have no time to date/ are too shy/ or considered dating taboo! [we’re 3rd world duh!]
Coming back to the problem of electronic mail which still seems complex to my parents : “spam” still being an eternal problem, yet they manage to keep it all [zero!] read. I hope these systems become more intelligent and more empathetic towards the older generation.
Talking about mailers, i noticed that my father took those very personally and he actually replied to them! So now, there is more “mailer daemon” error code emails & frankly my parents till have no idea what “mailer daemon” stands for or what it does. Come on!! we really need to change that, how about “Return to Sender” instead? of all the metaphors used, how come this was neglected? huh?
No matter what fancy technology email has evolved with, there is still some level of frustration with new features & etiquette of the whole email system because they are not designed with normal human users in mind.
There is NO excuse for BAD design.
Have you started with a hotmail account, a yahoo one later then rediff to rediffmail and next one to gmail?
So do you keep the same passwords for all of them? if not how would you remember?
How about facebook, flickr, technorati/delicious & linkedin accounts and many more?? Do you keep the same login? what if the name was already taken (suppose in delicious) and you have to change the login….how would you remember?
If there was an online application (i tried googling & googling) would you trust it to save such sensitive information?
I’m sure you save your password and your home PC/laptop but i’m sure you’ll need to backup somewhere else right?
where would you save it?
How many of the people you know have email other than their names on it? I am sure you also know people who have ‘creative’ names for their email IDs. I’m sure they have their disadvantages to it. Most of the times the emails are considered as Spam by email engines to be subsequently filtered to the Spam/Junk folder. I’m sure many of my mails have ended up there 😛
For example: I add friends on chat, the chat engine (experience had with Gtalk) just displays my email ID and not my name. How would anyone who didn’t know that the email ID was mine accept me in the first place? I would first have to send them an email informing them about the email ID and then wait for their acceptance, just increasing my work load in my hectic lifestyle 😛
How about adding people on social networking sites? How do you know that the person you found had accepted or ignored your invitation? What if the person had not logged on since ages or was unable to retrieve his/her password; would you treat as a rejection?
In this hectic lifestyle do we really keep in touch with everyone we know? We just update our profiles to let people know we are alive and kicking!!