"At no time in the age of humans, has communication been this fluid, and one can make a strong argument it all started with E-Mail"
- 2009, Attribution Unknown
How do you "Email"?
For hundreds of millions of humans all over the world, every day begins and ends the same. Within 30 minutes of waking from, or going to bed - they are checking or responding to E-mails. While some may argue this is bad behavior, E-Mail is one of the few mediums that "can wait" until you have time. Giving you time to be human, listen to music, talk to people, and schedule when you want to be resonsive. CheckMyEmailFast™ is a website dedicated to the medium of E-Mail in all its glory. Helping people get started, helping people who are getting spammed clean up their act, and providing helpful tips and tricks along the way!
Let's start with the basics of Email. What is it and how does it works. Don't worry - this will be simple! The easiest way to describe email is to related it to traditional postal mail.
- Obtaining an Email Address - An email address is not unlike your physical mailing address (street address for most). You need to have an email address to be able to send and receive email, just as you would need a street address to be able to have mail sent to you. Getting an email address is really simple. If you dont already have one, believe it or not your search engine probably has one for free! Some of the most popular are Google's Gmail, Bing via Live.com, and Yahoo! Mail.
- Composing an Email - Once you have access to an email account and can login to its interface or open the software on your computer - pressing "New Message" will bring you a window that allows you to type a message into. This is not unlike pulling out a piece of paper and getting ready to write a letter. One of the subtle differences is you will want to specify a subject for the message, which is a summary of your message in 3-10 words letting the recipient know what the message is about. It is good practice to include a good subject. Finally, just as you would write the recipients address on the outside of the envelope, you'll want to make sure to type the recipient's email address in the "To: " field located in this window.
- Sending an Email - Once you press send, its just like dropping a letter in the post box. In this case, the mailman is a bunch of computers that know how to talk to each other and pass along your information until it reaches its destination.
- Receiving Email - Receiving an email is just like opening a letter, but remember that subject you wrote? You get to see that BEFORE you open and read the email. Can you imagine being able to know what a letter was about before you opened the envelope? Would surely save you a lot of time!
- Opening an Email - Clicking on your email will open your email just as a letter opener would a traditional piece of mail. Typically the email will open in a window or pane of the existing window on your screen or phone. From here you have the option of "reply" "forward" or "delete" - reply would be the same as if you took a letter someone wrote to you, wrote on the back of the piece of paper, and sent it back to them. The benefit of this versus a new email is that it allows you to keep the context of the conversation going! Forward is a method which you take the email sent from someone else, and send it to a completely new person. Just like with a reply, you'll again have the opportunity to write a message with this forward. Finally, delete, is just like throwing mail in the garbage - you can do this with junk mail or mail you no longer need at any time. Careful though! Consider this permanent.
- BONUS! Opening an Attachment - Just like you would send someone a birthday card with a gift, an attachment is like receiving a package with your message. In this case however, the gift is typically some sort of digital file like an image or document. In most email applications, single or double clicking the attachment will open it up for you to view.