Published By Anthony Brunello in GoPostal on February 15, 2023, 3 minute read

Why is email still lame?

The year was 1994, and while visiting the local library I was thrilled to discover that the Seattle Community Network was offering members an email address FOR FREE! It was time to choose my username, and I began frantically trying to think up something cool… You see, there was no Facebook, no Instagram; heck, there was barely any internet at all, so an email address defined your identity online, and I was getting one for free!

Me in 1994, probably.
Me in 1994, probably.

Back then, only people working at telecom companies or universities even had email addresses, and they were always pretty boring. Maybe you had a job with the telecom company of the day and were, or maybe if you were a student. Eventually, other jdoe’s started showing up at your place of work or school. They were then handed cryptic addresses like,, and so on, ad infinitum.

This process continued, and hit new levels of boring and cryptic with the launch of Hotmail, where suddenly anyone could get an email address “for free”. Before long, every variation on your name you could possibly think of was already registered by someone else. Gmail then launched as well and met the same fate. Since then, email has been relegated to “something you have to use sometimes that is boring and impersonal” status. Our addresses don’t communicate who we are or what we’re about at all, aside from maybe where we work… Yippie.

So my question is, why hasn’t email kept up with the times? How come other digital accounts, such as social media, allow you to not only personalize your profile photo and bio, but then also post all kinds of things that communicate what you are all about, while email is still the same old

For that matter, customization has moved well beyond the digital space. You can now order personalized shoes or a personalized Polo shirt. You can completely personalize a cooler or water bottle, and even personalize a Mercedes!

None of this makes sense to me, you see. Back when I had my opportunity for an awesome FREE email address, the very last thing I considered was simply using my regular name… I wanted something cool, something that set me apart and made people notice whenever they sent or received email from me. Why doesn’t anyone want that now? Shouldn’t they?

No matter what new app pops up or how advanced social media, virtual reality, or metaverse platforms become, you still need a way to sign in and authenticate yourself; to identify yourself; to say “this is me”. It’s your email address, and I just don’t understand why we’re okay with them being so lame.