Is Your Email Address Telling on You?


Back in the day, if you wanted an email account and internet access, America Online was it. Their disks were everywhere, free for the taking. So we took and watched as the little yellow man ran across the screen, assuring us that our dial-up was working.

Microsoft Hotmail E-mail Symbol

I did have a free Hotmail account for a while, but true to its name, it flooded my inbox
with enticing ads for penile implants, pills to enhance my sexual prowess, and numbers to call if I was interested in a three-way. Eventually, Hotmail left me cold, so I stayed
with AOL.

Now, according to popular wisdom proffered by today’s millennials, if AOL appears after the @ in your email address, you must be over 80, a technology dinosaur, and live in the suburbs. You are obviously stuck in the ’90s and should never be taken seriously.

Despite the fact that AOL email shaming is rampant, I refuse to be intimidated. So to people who say, “Why do you still use AOL?” I say, “Why not?”

If something’s been working for 20 years, why change? Why go through the trouble of contacting every person and entity you know or have been doing business with for two decades?

AOL symbol running man

AOL has good security, adequate storage, spam protection, friendly interface, and access to
mail on my other devices. If someone invents an email account that vacuums and washes windows, I might consider switching.

So what if I’m accused of being stuck in the ’90s? It was a monumental decade that brought
us Law and Order, Seinfeld and The Sopranos. It was the heyday of Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan. Bill Clinton redefined having sex and, best of all, the world did not come to an end with Y2K.

I am aware that cooler alternatives to AOL do exist, like the popular Gmail. But I find Google so pushy.

Google g-mail Symbol

They always want to know where I am and are continually offering to store my passwords.
Frankly, I think they’re up to something. And what makes Google so hip anyway? Big deal
that everyone shows up for work wearing T-shirts, jeans and Ugg boots.

Yahoo E-mail symbol

Then there’s Yahoo. But do I
really want an email address that
has the resonance of a drunken
cowboy slapping his horse?

Therefore, I will stand up to the ridicule, keep my AOL, and continue to take comfort from the familiar voice informing me that I’ve got mail.

But I can foresee a time in the future, perhaps when I meet my maker, that I might have to switch. Because in heaven, the only choice may very well be the Cloud.

Susan Goldfein’s newest book, How to Complain When There’s Nothing
to Complain About, is available at Read her blog at: Email Susan at

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