Strong opinions, weakly held

Your email address as your identity

Alexandra Petri explains, in a funny way, what your e-mail address says about you and talks about changing fashions in the world of email. It also includes a helpful guide, here’s an example:

@YourWorkEmail You either work somewhere important or don’t understand the concept behind e-mail. You have a tendency to forward people joke e-mails with picture attachments.

I have long been a follower of email fashion. I think I originally subscribed to The Well because an @well.com email address had a certain amount of cachet and because I knew my ISP email address wouldn’t have any staying power. Then I realized that vanity domains were where it was at. I registered rc3.org as a place to get mail (and have a home page, of all things) before blogs even existed. Eventually I switched to Gmail (although my vanity email address and my well.com email address still work perfectly well) mainly for simplicity. When you tell someone “gmail dot com” over the phone you never have to spell anything, and nobody looks down on you for using Gmail.

I certainly haven’t used my work email for anything personal for at least 15 years. It’s so gauche.


  1. “I certainly haven’t used my work email for anything personal for at least 15 years. It’s so gauche.”

    it is? damn.

  2. Well, not if you’re the owner of the company.

  3. Lance Lavandowska

    November 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Same story here, only I wasn’t early enough to be on The Well like you (jealous emoticon here). I mostly use gmail these days, for the same reason but also for their superior spam filtering. My domain name is so much cooler, but I tired of spelling it out http://brainopolis.com

  4. I use my well.com address because everyone can spell “well” and it (increasingly rarely) sparks some recognition from people in the know.

    Of course it just forwards to my gmail account these days. But it’s more hassle to spell out [email protected].

    My work email address is for … work. I hate when people give me their work addresses for personal stuff.

  5. Having an Email address @YourDomain shows that you are a geek that is capable of registering a domain and forwarding Email.

    For 10 years now, I only give my personal address and forward it to where ever.

  6. And, of course, having [email protected] as your work e-mail is not a great sign, either.

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