Our tech guru spent most, all?, of yesterday resurrecting our personal email accounts which had been suddenly terminated thanks to ATT and Frontier, who assumed that nobody was still using their old dial-up email accounts. (or given the current nonsense, they just didn’t care) In my case, most of my professional/personal contacts are accessible only through those email addresses stored in that email account, I don’t know where they live or their phone numbers.* Sure, I could find out most of them, eventually. But it would take quite a bit of time. It also stores nearly ten years of emails that took the place of personal letters during college/post grad, and the account dates back to the late 1990’s. Or did.

The fact is, I wasn’t treating my email account like an email account; but more like a personal archive. And that doesn’t actually work on the internet for long periods of time.

The near loss of the material and the loss of the address illustrates a well known issue. On one hand, you can find anything on the internet. On the other hand….the connection is astonishingly fragile and entirely out of one’s physical control.

Unless steps are taken otherwise, which is why I am contemplating the creation of an address book that does not exist on the internet and probably not even on the computer. As a medievalist, and a believer in the lasting power of the pen and paper, you would think I would have already done this!

Still, it is funny. Physically, I am still here, where I have maintained an address for all my life. But briefly, my virtual address, which so many more people know, vanished from existence. It will take me forever to remember to give out my new email address….

Now, where’s my pencil?


*I know I am stupidly lucky, you don’t need to tell me that again.