You Don’t Use Webmail – WHAT?

July 7, 2008

by — Posted in Family and Friends, Technology

Picture from here

I thought the teens and pre-teens were the sounding board for tomorrows technology.   Well this isn’t always the case.   I previously mentioned talking with my brother over the weekend.   Well there is more to it then just the security post that came out of it.   He complained that he wasn’t getting confirmation e-mails for some of the web services he was using and he thought they may be getting caught by his spam filter.   I asked him which e-mail provider he was using.  He’s using his ISP…………..

I may be 32, but I have two brothers that are twins that are thirteen years old.   They have the fear of sharing their name online and everything else they will get over as they get older (or become completely paranoid and withdraw from the Internet entirely by the time they are 20).   They don’t however use web based e-mail.  I understand that they should be showing me what is new and interesting, so I expected Myspace or some such service for sending e-mails to friends.  Well they don’t, but part of that is that my 26 year old brother who sets up the web filtering for my dad frowns upon Myspace for that age group because of worrying about pedophiles I suppose (though a child is 99.9 more likely to be molested by a relative or immediate friend of the family instead of being attacked by an online predator).   My father and step-mother aren’t too hot on it either – they believe in the sunshine and dirt makes strong boys.   I’m more of the give me a book and a bed to lay on, or a laptop and a Gameboy with a bed to lay on type of guy.

They don’t however use web based e-mail – I haven’t used a strictly POP3 mail solution since college – so 14 years of using web based e-mail.  With the exception of corporate mail I can’t understand using it any other way.   Spam control is easier, you can access your e-mail from anywhere, you can archive your mail online without ever losing anything.  I started a series about computing in the clouds and even did one subject on web based e-mail.  The generation that comes after us (and the age difference is pretty much a generation) should have a more refined method of handling data.   It’s seems they choose to hamstring themselves then to learn and be more interactive.   That is not the case.

I have a sister that is pretty much from the mind set of using the computer as a utility or appliance.   It’s something that’s only slightly more interactive then a game system or television set.   I understand that mentality.   I figured however it was something that would end with my generation.  It seems not, the next generation at least in my family is not grasping and making tech work for them they are working for their technology.  What I mean by that is they put more effort into the computer then they need to, the computer should be a tool to make things faster and easier.   Not using it to the fullest extent you can and streamlining what you do is almost a shame.

My 26 year old brother and myself when we had our own computers kept pushing the line and seeing what we can do next.  He was twelve/thirteen when I went to college and he was running his own BBS.   He went the design and programming route.  I went the security and architecture route.   Both of us are very good at what we do in our own fields – at least we think so.  Though we have very little overlap since both of us view the other person as focusing on the wrong things.  The thirteen year olds don’t have the same in depth interaction with their computers.   Maybe this is a problem with growing up with computers their whole lives.   It’s not viewed with the same regard as it was for me and my next youngest brother.

It does give me some slight hope that the current twenty something and young thirty somethings are the height of the internet users while the rest of them stagnate and fully pushed the line.   But the youngest brothers have a few years to catch up and may do something with it yet, so I can’t fully discount them until the future arrives.

Now if they are reading this – go get a Gmail address and learn how to use it.   My father-in-law and mother-in-law have even moved to Gmail and it only took them a few minutes to learn it.

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