Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Thinking out of the inbox

Clearly, there is some pride felt when I chirrup to my friends, “Oh, I need to check my inbox”.

Unconsciously, my mind wanders to the wacky world of e-mails, sent either by a loved one or a friend and the personal satisfaction of having gone through the day’s messages, even if there is nothing new.

Maybe it’s just me, but I have serious problems thinking out of the inbox. As a proud holder of four different inbox accounts on Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter, my brain is doing laps at Michael Schumacher speeds trying to monitor all these accounts. Life seems to revolve around that nowadays.

Consider that Facebook alone currently has 300 million users worldwide, translating to a whooping 300 million inboxes! That’s before we even consider that those same people make use of other email addresses, either Yahoo or Gmail and even both in some cases!
Can you see how big this is? Think of it as having at least four different letter boxes at your home. Insane or weird?

E-mail is the new fashion nowadays, no stamps, no envelopes and definitely no putting of pen to paper at all. Just inbox me and I will reply back.
Frankly speaking, I just can’t seem to remember the last time I wrote a letter and went to the Post Office.

Gone are the days when one would open an email address and then abandon it checking up on it once every 3 months.
How can you, when nowadays being inactive on an account for 60 days can lead to its termination.

That explains the anxious manner we go about checking our in boxes daily, silently terrified that if we don’t then we face ‘extinction’ from the rest of the world. Honestly, no one fancies seeing the dreaded, “Error 404 not found” displayed across their computer screen when checking their mail.
While it’s only fair to get disconnected for inactivity on e-mail accounts, it is totally unbearable for one to be cut off the internet completely. The crashing of the e-mail server is everyone’s living nightmare!
The tell-tale signs are all too visible that we have become internet freaks, needing a steady dose of an online high to take us through to the next day.

Obviously, while the experiences of having a server going berserk are different from person to person, it is not difficult to draw universal similarities. After all, drug addicts, regardless of whether they are rich or poor, living in America’s New York suburbs or the slums of Soweto, all display the same withdrawal symptoms.

Usually, more often than not, during an e-mail blackout there is the horrendous look of disbelief at the computer screen as one realises the drama unfolding in front of them. Of course, this is followed by frenzied punching on the keyboard as if something is wrong with the poor thing.

A friend relating his own ordeal said, “It’s only natural in situations like these to let off a puff of air just to cool down.

Hmm…All the while what’s for certain though is that nerves are on tenterhooks and one can’t help thinking about that all important message they might have received and needs urgent attention.

The recent crashing of Gmail servers worldwide for a week left untold suffering among internet faithfuls as many counted the loss in terms of e-mails not sent and e-mails possibly lost somewhere in cyberspace. This catastrophe (that’s what it is) deserves to be declared a global disaster, similar to how countries declare national disasters, the only difference this time being that more than one nation was affected.

Google must compensate us financially for the trauma of not being able to access our inboxes.

Well, we just have to wait and see what will come along after the inbox, since it has definitely overtaken the letterbox.

Maybe this time we’ll just get a box and hopefully then we will be able to think out of the box.
It won’t be easy, but I will give it a try.


Read this week's paper