The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.
It was cool and all that Bradford had finally gotten us the Internet in the Fall of my sophomore year but they didn’t have our e-mail up for a very long time. Those of us that wanted to make full use of the ‘Net ended up getting e-mail accounts through a little company called Hotmail, which offered a very simple white homepage with a logo on it and a simple interface and none of the bullshit that’s associated with Hotmail today.
I signed up for my first Hotmail account, firstname.lastname@example.org, early on in the year because I’d heard rumblings it would be forever and a day before Bradford techie-types had our e-mail up and running. Knowing what I know now about setting up e-mail servers and such, I can’t believe it took them the months it took them to set it up. And, I can’t believe how many times the thing did crash when it finally did go up.
But I was happy with my little Hotmail account and I was finally able to exchange e-mail with off campus friends and such and I was even able to start visiting chatrooms and giving out my address to girls who might be interested in communicating further.
It was the coolest thing in the world. I was one of the first on campus to find it and I began telling everyone I knew. I think we all had Hotmail addresses for a long while. I still checked mine up through the beginning of 2003 but it got too swamped with spam all the time and I finally decided to abandon it to the abyss.
One other funny note is that over the years plenty of people who had miscommunicated their e-mails to their friends inadvertantly caused me to get a lot of mail that I wasn’t meant to see. Whether they were trying to send to Emily or Eric or whoever, I was hardly ever the person my hotmail was meant for in the last years.