A few years ago I overheard a group of young employees chatting in the lunchroom. Somewhere in the midst of the “what about that game last night? … did you see that movie? … what time tonight? … blah … blah …” conversation I was mostly ignoring while waiting for my microwaved lunch to beep, they suddenly had my full-on attention with “yeah, could you believe that recruit? … what a loser … yeah, I know what you mean, imagine still using aol for their email… OMG! no way. I know … right?!”
Yikes! I sneaked out quietly hoping they wouldn’t see @aol.com emblazoned on my forehead somehow. I had an in-house reputation for being pretty hip with most of the next generation tools. My cover would be completely blown, if they found out about my dirty little secret: the personal @aol.com email address. When did that happen? Who knew? I certainly didn’t. I missed that memo.
After 15+ years of using that same email, with it registered in hundreds of friends contacts lists across the globe, it was going take some sort of interweb melt-down to persuade me to change. What is the value proposition, other than the cool-factor?
So when I heard a fellow aol-er mention this week that she’d read aol is back in fashion, I thought YES! Just like my bell bottoms from the 70s – just keep ’em around long enough and they will come back into fashion. Alas, I’ve been doing some research and cannot find any data to backup the suggestion that it’s back IN. 😦 Certainly, if you measure popularity in terms of numbers. Rather, it might be a status symbol amongst the rich and famous, as suggested in a 2011 Politico article. Or IMHO, I’m thinking maybe it’s becoming an eccentricity that is tolerated in Boomers, like cursive writing, fountain pens, analogue watches and the like, but truly IN, it appears not to be.
I guess I don’t care. I’m sticking with it until I can be persuaded that I need some functionality from another mail client, that AOL doesn’t offer. Ideas most welcome …. yeah I know about the whole calendar interface issue, but I can manage that manually. Just click on Comments and advise me. In the meantime, special fond wishes to all my fellow AOL-ers out there — it seems we are a dying breed.
Check out some of the data for yourself, from the Campaign Monitor, that tracks email popularity: