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FAQs of (Web) Life: Social Tech Advice

Does My ISP e-mail address look bad? Yes.

Question:

Dear Ms. Andrus,

Right now, I have an email account that I set up through my cable provider. However, I’ve noticed that many of my friends and family use Google for their email accounts. I’ve been told how important it is to have a Gmail account, especially if you are looking for a job opportunity. And who isn't nowadays?! But why should I make the switch? It’s always a hassle to change email accounts and I’m not sure why an employer would care which one I use. What benefit is there for using a Google email account versus any other account?

- Inbox Identity Crisis

Answer:

Dear Inbox Identity Crisis,

I’m so glad you asked this question! I’m a huge supporter of Gmail for so many reasons.

The number one reason you should ditch your cable provider’s email account? You’ll lose it if you move, or you’ll lose it if you decide to switch to a new cable provider. Given that the Internet is a gigantic cloud of information that is accessible from anywhere and everywhere, there’s no reason why your email address should change every time you move to a new state or a new city where your current cable provider doesn’t provide coverage. That’s ridiculous, and a pain in the butt.

But let’s say you plan on staying put forever and you think your cable provider will never go out of business. Here’s the second reason (which you’re already vaguely aware of): an email address from a cable provider makes you look out of touch and old. There, I said it. I’m sorry, but no one who is truly tech-savvy is using an email from a cable company.

And it’s not just cable provider emails that make you look dated – Hotmail, Yahoo, and the dreaded AOL accounts have a stigma, too. Hello, 1990s! Just like an iPhone is “considered by many” to be the most prestigious cell phone, Gmail is often thought of as the most prestigious email account. We’re not saying those things are true—but they are perceived to be true, and your potential employer might have that perception. And a potential employer might wonder why you’re not using the best email out there. It’s free and has other amazing features so why wouldn’t you use it?

 

Besides having great organizational abilities like filters and labels and fun background themes, when you create a Gmail account you’ll also get access to other amazing features that you can access from any computer with an Internet connection. Here are just a few of them:

·        Google Docs is a file-sharing service where you can save documents online. Give others permission to edit a file that you’re all working on. This could be great for travel itineraries with a family, business presentations with a client, or group projects with classmates.

 

·        Create an endless amount of color-coded schedules with Google Calendar and share specific ones with other Gmail users. Keep track of your kid’s schedules, see if a business partner has time for a meeting, or just set up an editorial calendar for your blog in addition to a calendar that keeps track of your own life.

·        Google Reader and Google Bookmarks allow you to organize your favorite blogs and links.

Not to mention other features like Google+, a social network, and Google Voice, where you can make free or cheap calls online. The best part is that all of these features are easily organized and available on your personal iGoogle home page that you can arrange to fit your own needs.

 

I could go on for hours about the benefits of Gmail. Just promise me you’ll create a Gmail account today. You won’t regret it.

Aubre