Is AOL mail so uncool, that it’s cool again?

AOL MailA 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:

email movers and shakers trends

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About lynnmorstead

Writing about the small things that shape our lives
This entry was posted in Aging, Change Management, Culture, Humor, Millenials, Society, Technology, Teens, Transitions, Young Adults and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Is AOL mail so uncool, that it’s cool again?

  1. Rhonda says:

    Perhaps a dying breed, but you never read that someone’s AOL email is hacked, like Yahoo or even Gmail. It works for me — both at home and on the road. But then, I don’t even have a cellphone, so you know right away I am not only a dying breed, but dead. Oh wait, while up in Vancouver, I met two people who were actually in AWE of me for staying out of the fray. They actulaly envied my ability to “plug in” when I wanted to. To check my home voicemail for messages (seldom left), and to make calls from home and check my email from home. They thought I was totally COOL! Then when I got home, I met someone who doesn’t have a credit card! Now THAT is truly unusual!

  2. Gloria Pereira says:

    Hi Fellow AOLers, There is something cool about having an email that is one of the original emails. It means you are an early adopter, right? I mean … I have my aol email since the 90s… And it’s just my name with no numbers. I don’t use the AOL interface and service anymore … I can’t see what Yahoo or Gmail or anything else can give me that AOL cannot. Of course, my daughter won’t use her aol account — she chose yahoo. Maybe the market share is shrinking but what about the total number of users … how does that compare?
    You’ve Got Mail!!!

  3. Gloria Pereira says:

    I asked my millennial what is a cool email account. Her answer …. Nobody uses email anymore.

    • lynnmorstead says:

      Gloria, when I told my millennials what your millennial said, they laughed and said “just wait til she gets closer to college, then she’ll realize email is still VERY much the thing!”

  4. e says:

    netcom.com is more powerful

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