E-Mail, as a system of reliable communication, does not work anymore. Other than face to face communication, e-mail has become our primary source of interpersonal communication in the past decade and a half. Or, at least, it has for me.
I mean, think about it… how often do you mail a letter or a card to somebody anymore? I can’t remember the last time I put anything “in the mail.” Part of the reason for that is because I live in the Philippines, and the mail is not used for doing things like paying bills and such here. But, overall, for some kind of personal communication, no matter where we live, the vast majority of us do not use the Postal System for communicating these days and have not for a long, long time.
Before the Internet came along, we primarily used the telephone for non-face-to-face communication. After the Internet, many of us used e-mail to stay in touch with friends and family.
It doesn’t work anymore, though.
What do you mean e-mail doesn’t work, Bob? I use e-mail all the time!
Well, I use e-mail too, but, but the system is broken. Why? Spam has killed e-mail. Because the volume of Spam, most e-mail providers have instituted a system of filters that analyze the e-mail that we receive. If the filter thinks that the e-mail is Spam, the e-mail gets chucked into a “SPAM” folder. The vast majority of people never check their Spam folders, which means that anything in there goes unseen until it is automatically deleted by the e-mail system.
So what, Bob? I don’t want to see that Spam anyway, why would I check it?
Well, you should check it because sometimes those “automatic filters” make mistakes. Sometimes the filter thinks that an e-mail from your friend or family member is actually Spam, and the e-mail gets thrown out. Since you never check your Spam folder, you never see the e-mail, and you think that your brother or your cousin never e-mail you and is ignoring you, even though they are sending you e-mails regularly, but Yahoo or Google is junking it! Yep, it’s true, believe me.
How do I know? Well, I know, because I check my Spam folder several times every day. And, almost every time I check I find something that should not be there.
I use Google for your Domain service to provide e-mail service for all my domains that have e-mail addresses. When you send me an e-mail at my “Mindanao.com” domain, where my primary e-mail address is, Google actually handles that for me. You know what? This is going to be almost unbelievable, but it’s true. I am part of the Google Affiliate Network, which means that Google has advertisers as part of the network, which I can place on my websites. Whenever there are new advertisers, Google Affiliate Network sends me an e-mail to let me know, in case I want to use their ads to make money. Know what? About half the time that Google Affiliate Network sends me an e-mail, Google Mail service sends it to Spam! Yes, Google thinks that their own e-mails are Spam! Unbelievable!
When I send e-mails to people with Hotmail accounts, Hotmail always thinks I am sending Spam (which I do not do), and my emails end up in the Spam folder. Every Hotmail user who e-mails me never gets a reply, because they don’t check their Spam Folder. I have no way of letting them know because I can’t e-mail them! When I send to Yahoo, about half the time it goes into the Spam folder, the other half the time it is delivered as it should be.
So, because the volume of Spam out there has caused these automatic filters to get more and more aggressive, a lot of important e-mails are never seen by the recipients.
Like I said… the e-mail simply doesn’t work anymore. What will we do next, when we want to communicate? Will the Post Office start filtering too? Maybe we should go back to snail mail again.
I know I don’t get the volume on email you get, but I always check the spam folder, and from time to time, even find something that shouldn’t be there. I know my emails to others have gone astray, and your advice to people to check their spam folders frequently is excellent advice!
Hi AmericanLola – Speaking of e-mail… did you get the e-mail that I sent you yesterday? Seriously…
Yeah, Spam has created huge problems with e-mail. I can only imagine it getting worse too. I don’t know what the solution might be!
Edward Gary Wigle
Hi Bob, At one time I used GMail for all of my email. I have had as much as 1,000 messages in one day. I am not into that anymore but on my GMail account I still get about 100 emails per day and 99% of them are spam. I made the move to yahoo and now get MAYBE 5 Spams emails a day. Pop, pop, fizz, fizz, o what a relief it is.
That’s exactly the problem, Gary. All those mails, now they are just floating out in the ethernet somewhere. There may be some good mails in there, which is exactly what I am talking about.
Bob New York
It seems Google is establishing more and more of a predominant prescence on the internet through their buy-outs of potentially successful and established successful websites. Sometimes I wonder how much of a prescence Google has in just about everyones PC that may be little thought about by PC users.
I got started on the internet somewhere about 15 years ago with ” Web-TV ” because it was easy and simple and at that time the PC seemed to me to be more of a headache than I wanted to deal with. Web-TV was just a simple ” set top box ” or another way to put it , a dedicated internet terminal , that worked through the dedicated ” Web-TV ” server system on a dial up connection. When I finally upgraded to use of a PC in 2000, the non spam filter Web-TV was getting over 200 spams a day !
For me, I kind of try to avoid Google if another website will serve me the same purpose although I do enjoy Youtube so I guess they have you just about any popular place on the internet these days.
It is not that I really have anything against Google, just that they seem to be taking more and more of the internet. Can we someday look forward to ” GoogleSoft ?
Hi Bob NY – I know what you mean! In fact, Google is the 2000’s version of what Microsoft was in the 90’s! Sometimes, I do get tired of the domination of single companies who buy up all their competitors. 😉
I have turned off my spam filter…I simply do not open mail where I do not know the sender…Deleting unknown email is a one second job that some people treat as a much bigger hassle than it really is…I am the spam filter
Hi Mike – I think that is a decent strategy, but many people who are less internet savvy would have a hard time knowing what to open and what not to open, though.
Bob New York
E Mail is so commonplace these days it has lost the ” impact ” it once enjoyed. Ever had a problem with a ” big ” company like a utility company or multinational internet company ? You get nowhere in E Mailing them on their contact page, you get nothing but ” stock ” answeres from calling the toll free number for customer service ?
I recently had a discrepency with one of the major money transfer companies, you know the one so I don’t have to mention any names. It was not that I got ripped off, but they tried to cancel my account with them. I spent several hours playing ” Telephone Roulette ” with them. Each time I called I got a different call center in a different part of the world and they each gave me a different reason why they could no longer handle my transfer requirements. I must admit however I did have a very nice conversation with a nice Filipina in one of the Manila Call Centers who did put a transfer through for me since it was going to a Philippines destination she was familiar with.
A little while later, out comes my typewriter ( remember those ? I still use them from time to time ) . After doing a few web searches I found 10 different Postal Addresses for this company, wrote a hard copy letter and made 10 copies. The next day I mailed the letter to all of the addresses I had found. This is not the first time I have done something like this and I call it ” Mailbox Mania ! ” .
Four days later I got a hard copy reply and an E mail from this company who apologized for their error and set up a special account for me. This would not have happened if I had not written to them with a real Postal Letter.
In situations like this, E Mail is many times useless but a real Postal Letter is what can often times have real ” Impact ” !
Hi Bob – Good on ya, as the Aussies say! What a stroke of genius writing those letters and sending to every address you could find! And, indeed it paid off for you! I am happy to hear that. Even though you didn’t mention the name of the company, given your description of it, I am thinking it’s in one of the Western States! If you know what I mean. 😉
Bob New York
Your replies are always quite accurate Bob, and this one is no exception. LOL !
Many years ago when I got my first telephone number I only made 1 phone call for the first billing period to make sure the phone company ( it was still the Bell System in those days ) billed me correctly, they sent me a bill for $471 and change. The only call I made was to the pizza joint down the street 1 mile away and in the same telephone exchange. After arguing with them for a few months I came up with the idea for Mailbox Mania ! Sure enough that worked. They finally admitted it was their error , they wrote down the incorrect local call register for my phone number.
Hi Bob – Wow, $471 for a phone bill, and only local calls made! I bet that Ma Bell was a little red in the face after that incident!