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I Don't Have An E-mail Address

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About five years ago I was organizing a team to work on a presentation, and the first item was to organize our communication by setting up a group email system.  There was a cold and frightened hush in the room when one of the key participants announced that she didn't have an e-mail address.  "I don't have an e-mail address," she confirmed when it was clear that no one in the room understood the plain English she had spoken.

What followed was comical and revealed a lot about our e-culture even five years ago.  The remaining members of the team began to troubleshoot the situation.  They inquired where her PC was, was it broken, could she access her account on her phone, was she changing subscribers until it was clear that this high functioning, very desirable teammate, had neither e-mail address, nor cell phone, nor PC.  Not even a Mac, for that matter.


Today, the PC isn't the primary way to get to the Internet anymore.  I read in WSErverNews Weekly that the ratio of mobile devices to PCs is no longer even 1-to-1.  Everyone has a mobile device.  Everyone?  Not everyone.  No.  My prized team member of five-years-ago still does not.  And, she remains highly sought after.  And, continues to cause blank stares when she says her words again slowly for those, who like I did back then, cannot take in the full meaning of her words "I don't have an e-mail address."

I went with a different friend, also light on web connections, to get a cell phone.  He explained to the customer service representative that he wanted a phone that only made telephone calls and had no other functions.

No camera?   



Just a phone, please.

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