[Originally posted March 2011]

I seem to be collecting email addresses like bad habits.  Not talking about other people’s email addresses, mind you.  I’m talking about mine.  And it’s starting to get slightly out of hand.

Quite simply, I have too many email addresses.  When I first got around to getting my own email address, I signed up to Hotmail and got one.  And it wasn’t even a regular .com one.  This one was a .co.uk.  (Because I was living in the UK)  But it was simple yet comprehensive.  First name dot last name at hotmail dot co dot uk.  The sort of email address most of us aspire for.  Straightforward, no need for all sorts of crazy stupid numbers at the end of your email because some other jerkoff took your name and is probably not even using it anymore.  Douche.  But I’ll get to that in a bit.

By the time I got back to NY, I didn’t want to carry around a .co.uk email address anymore.  It didn’t make any sense for me to keep using that – there was something slightly pretentious about carrying that around, I thought.  So I signed up for the .com equivalent.  First name dot last name.  Gone.  Some other jerkoff with my stupid name had taken it.  Practically every articulation or abbreviation of my name had been taken.  And my name’s about as far from something as common as John Smith as can be!  How the hell could all these names be taken?!  Bastard(s).

So like a schmuck, I had to resort to numbers.  And I tried spelling my name with numbers.  How leet.  I know: I suxx0r!!!  Anyhow, that’s what I tried, that’s what was available, and that’s what I went with.  I now had an email address with fucking numbers in it.  And my God, do I loathe it.

I ran with that email for a while.  I got over the numbers, probably because the email did exactly what I needed to do.  You know, work like some electronic message transmission service.  And I was probably a lot less needy than I am these days.  But then more email services started to pop up.  Gmail was suddenly all the rage.  And the whole phenomenon of jumping on the next big thing to lock in your “identity” was as alien to me as seeing Katharine Hepburn on a skateboard.  I still can’t remember what prodded me to sign up for a Gmail account, but when I did, of course my first name dot last name was long gone.  As was every other iteration of my name.  Same goddamn story.  So I resorted to the same leet address.  Fucking loser.

Now for reasons I can’t explain, I’ve got both accounts fairly active.  Different people contact me on each address, and I have no idea why.  So I’ve now got to balance two personal email addresses. To what fucking end?!!  And as if that wasn’t enough, wifey and I have a household email address, one of those useless email addresses your household internet provider gives you like it’s some glorious door prize for signing up for their shitty service.  But because I was wholly dissatisfied with the interface, I signed us up with family Gmail account.  Except wifey continues to use that other shitty provider email!

By my count, I’m up to four email addresses now.  And that’s not counting work email.  That’s five.  Five email addresses I’ve gotta keep up with now.

Today, I got a message from Facebook saying that my Facebook email is ready to use now!  FACEBOOK!?!?!!!  Really, assholes?  Now I gotta deal with facebook dot com email address?  Was anyone really banging down Facebook’s doors for an email address from them?  Yes, I watched The Social Network, so I do appreciate the irony of a facebook.com email address.  But still, WTF.

That’s right, I’ve got a six-pack of email addresses now.  If only they’d be half as useful as so much PBR I could throw down my gullet.  One person having this many email addresses makes about as much sense as… well, this.  I wish I knew how to consolidate this bullshit, but like so many Gilbert Gottfried tweets, it’s all gotten bit out of hand now.  Thing is, I recently read thisarticle about how email addresses stereotype you.  And I was further advised by a friend of mine about how HR people are now weeding out candidates based on their email addresses!  Regardless of qualification!  Something about how they instantly toss out anyone with an AOL email address because they’re clearly too old.  Fucked up?  Fucked up.  Problem is, I think there is some truth to both the article and the alleged HR stereotyping.  I mean, when was the last time you saw anyone under 30 with an AOL email address.  See?

The last thing I needed was someone actually dumping another email address on me the way Facebook have.  I didn’t ask for it, but it looks like Facebook are gonna make me use it anyway.  But maybe the @facebook.com address will be the next big thing.  The email address that everyone’s clamoring for.  I guess one way of looking at this is that I don’t need to fight over finding my place in this “next big thing”, if it does turn out to be one – Facebook have already tossed me right in the middle of it.

They think they’re so clever.  Smug bastards.