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.