There’s a Chicago resident with my last name and similar initials. I have never met this person but know that she is quite social and likes a good deal. She cares for the environment just enough to sign internet petitions regularly. She tried Groupon for a month last year, but never really pursued that avenue. Her thing is fashion related discounts. Very specific interests.
I know all of this because she thinks her email address is the one I have been using since college.
When I started getting Open Table reminders to restaurants in Chicago, a city I have never been to, I was concerned. Once I realized the intended recipient was another S.Cowling (which makes it near impossible to have a positive sounding work email address, by the way) the concern of an email hack gave way to a bit of curiosity. I unsubscribed from all the email I could, but as the Chicago Cowling was settling into her new city I learned much about that town as well as the poor typer from email headlines.
One time she gave my email address as her own to a prospective employer. That one stood out and I did reply to the message letting them know they need to call her for a corrected email, but beyond that I became quite adept at setting up email rules to send those notes I could not unsubscribe from to junk.
I have wondered from time to time what others would learn about me if they received my email. There’s tons of Jukepop, IFTTT updates and notes from what was Howard Dean’s presidential campaign. When my kids go to clean out my internet presence, as will be clearly stated in my will, will they find the MySpace access information I used twice? Will they go through the emails from Pandora and say, “I can’t believe dad gave that a thumbs up.”
Email is way more personal than a blog. Email is where we send stuff no one else will ever see. Thank goodness Chicago Cowling is not into anything upsetting or I’d have to learn a new email address.
It is crazy easy to just sign up for stuff on the internet and just forget about it….much like you can subscribe to this blog by email at the right over there.