What Your Email Address Says About You
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Are you an old school Luddite or a tech-savvy millennial? Here we decode the true meanings behind the most popular accounts.
We live – and you may have noticed this – in hyper-connected times. A direct result of this is that we are constantly projecting countless different versions of ourselves depending on which particular apps and social networks we’ve chosen to sign-up to. So there is funny you (Snapchat). There is professional you (LinkedIn). There’s flirty you (Tinder), photographer you (Instagram), philosopher you (Facebook), competitive you (Pokémon Go), calorie-burning you (Fitbit), argumentative you (Twitter)… a genuine kaleidoscope of identities, none of which tells us very much about who you really are.
But there is one constant that can always be counted on to reveal your true essence. That’s right: your email address. It’s what tethers you to the modern world and is, as a result, nothing less than a window into your soul. So what does your email address really say? Well, allow us to tell you.
You’re a normcore minimalist whose few sole possessions include a MacBook Air and an AeroPress coffee maker. You consider your email address to be a deeply meta statement: you are your email and your email is you. Also, you’ve uploaded your entire life to The Cloud in the hope that it will help speed up the advent of singularity, which you absolutely cannot wait for.
Ah, good old BTInternet... it’s got the words “British” and “Telecommunications” in there, and you wouldn’t have it any other way. There is a very strong chance you still say “electronic mail” and you definitely write perfect, abbreviation-free missives to local newspapers to politely correct grammar or to highlight interesting things about local history, Roman coins etc. You are not intimidated by technology, it’s just that you've decided you know your limits – ie, that GeoCities website you created in order to share photos and information about Civil War re-enactments.
You nervously created your email account in 2001 so you could sign up to Hot or Not, and have spent the last 15 years stubbornly standing by it “because it works” and also because you secretly think “Hotmail” actually sounds quite cool. Hotmail! It's basically email for people who still get a little bit excited by a full inbox.
You switched to Gmail because you’d just turned 30 and were feeling a bit twitchy about how with-it you were technologically, a feeling that was only exacerbated by a rumour you heard saying that if you applied for jobs from an Outlook or Yahoo account, your CV went straight into the trash. You’re a technological pack animal keeping up with the herd.
This seemed like a good idea at the time. You’re a freelance creative of some stripe and you wanted to stick a contact email on your shiny new website. Only now you’ve ended up having a personal email that begins with the word “info”, and you're only just starting to come to terms with the fact it’s deeply impersonal, particularly when your friends are trying to get in touch with you about whether you’d like to play football or go out for a drink. “Hello, yes, I would like some INFO on whether you would care to do that thing we do pretty much every week”. You were hoping it would seem professional, but now everybody feels like they’re just spamming you.