Unfortunately, due to email space limitations (25MB), I got constant nagging reminders from all my free email accounts to please make space. Though I did try making backups before deletion, many of my electronic communications from this transition period - when people were writing paper letters less and less and at the same time, email accounts though free, came with space limitations - were lost forever.
Soon I realized that I really wanted to save emails and hit upon the idea of e-groups. I diligently created one for my immediate family and one each for each of my close circle of friends. Then it would not matter if I had to delete emails from my account - the e-groups archives still would hold all the communications.
I did not realize then that I was creating a very awesome source of timepass. Several years later, though some of the e-groups had become mostly inactive, I still loved going back to the e-group archives occasionally and reading about how my life had been back then. Some of the emails are utterly hilarious and I laugh out loud (as I did the very first time I read them and as I did upon the subsequent n readings) and some of them make me wonder why on earth some particular thing mattered so much back then. And then there are those emails reading which I am filled with relief that I have put some things behind me. Irrespective of the feeling reading an individual email evokes, ultimately, reading pld emails delights me no end.
How could I not talk about Google here? The great company which first allowed my own email account inbox to be used as an archive instead of having to create groups.
I can be loyal to a fault. But when my first-ever email account, Hotmail, refused to follow suit even after a couple of months of Google's 1GB storage space arrival, I switched to GMail and never looked back. So now I have every personal email anyone ever sent me since late 2004 (I told you I am a hoarder). Not that every email is worth storing but hey, haven't each one of them contributed in some way, big or small, to who I am today?
Google then upped the ante with GChat. Now I could also archive every conversation I had online. I was officially in Hoarder Heaven.
Now I have a dual source of timepass when I am so inclined - the e-group archives and my gmail inbox. It is fun to read. I never realized I was such a emoticon junkie back then. I still am, to a certain extent, but my emoticon usage then was really excessive! Reading the conversations I have had with various people at various points in time is even better entertainment. Some of those people I no longer even keep in touch with it either by choice or because life happened. But some conversations bring back big twinges of nostalgia. It was great fun when they happened and I miss having such conversations now. But like Somerset Maughman said:
Nothing in the world is permanent, and we're foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we're still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it. ... We can none of us step into the same river twice, but the river flows on and the other river we step into is cool and refreshing too.So true, no?
Another great joy of digging into old emails is rediscovering old forwards and youtube videos (I mean the interesting kind. Even hoarder me deletes the unbearable ones pronto). Some gems never get old.
Moral of this post is: iI you have time to kill and are an avid emailer, discover the entertainment your inbox has to offer if you have not already done so! And rejoice that the 25MB space limitation firmly belongs to the ancient ages now.