Is Email Better than Snail Mail?

Email is easy to use

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”

Most of us baby boomers are familiar with the unofficial motto of the United States Post Office. If you don’t know what it is, just look at the quote above. We expect that the mail (or post for some of you) will be delivered to our door every day, six days a week. But will we always be able to depend on that? A recent article that I read in the New York Times (online) talked about the United States Postal Service (as it is now called) going bankrupt. The article said that the Most of us baby boomers are familiar with the unofficial motto of the United States Post Office.Postal Service is considering eliminating Saturday delivery in an effort to save money and may even be forced to stop operating sometime this winter.

Do We Still Need Snail Mail?

The major reason that “snail mail” (the not so nice nick name given to the traditional mail delivery service) is in financial trouble is email. Today we can be in touch with each other almost instantaneously. If we want to send a letter we can just send a quick email instead and get a quick response. Bills can be paid online so we don’t need to send them through the mail. There are less and less reasons for us to use the regular mail these days.

But is email really the same as “snail mail?” I know that the Postal Service can be real slow, but still writing an email is not like sending a letter. Remember those English classes where we learned to write a letter. What will our kids learn now? Sending off a quick email is not the same thing. We really learned to communicate well by writing a good formal letter.

But Isn’t Email Better?

Well, sometimes it is. If you are planning a trip or need to get in contact with a friend quickly, email sure fits the bill. Speaking of bills, it is quicker and less expensive to pay them online. So in many, if not most, cases email is the way to go. But I can’t really keep my records strait with email, you say. Many of us don’t really know what to do with the electronic messages we send or receive. When we send or receive a letter, we keep a copy of  it in a folder hanging in a file drawer somewhere. Well, you can do the same thing with emails. Just like regular mail, you can decide whether to trash the message or file it. Most email programs let you create a set of folders to organize your mail. It doesn’t have to sit in a big lump in your inbox.

So How do I Organize My Email?

Well that’s a good question and I’ll have to say that I won’t answer it completely in this post. What’s important is that you need to decide how you want to read your email. Do you like reading it online or do you like a special computer program, like Microsoft Outlook, to read and organize your emails. I’ll break it down quickly here in this post, then I’ll write one or more posts later on how to organize your email, especially for baby boomers.

First of all, you can choose to use the email account from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This is the company, for example AOL, that provides your access to the Internet. Often, you get a free email box with an address that includes the name of the company (for example, @aol). You can also choose a Web-based email, such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail. The biggest advantage to these is that they can stay with you even if you switch Internet companies. Of course another advantage is that they are free and available from any computer or smart phone (or even an iPod Touch). My next email post will talk about the different types of email providers and the pros and cons of each type. In another post, I will talk about using email efficiently and how it will help us baby boomers especially (and everyone else too).

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Thanks for reading.

Photo by: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About

Hi, My name is David Goldman and this blog is not about the World Wide Web. It will talk about that, but mostly this blog will talk about how today's technology has changed the way we go about our everyday lives. Technology, especially the World Wide Web, has changed the way we live our everyday lives. I want to empower you with the knowledge of today's technology to compete with vigor in today's world. You can click the link below to find out some more about me and this blog.

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