Forgot your password?

I've had a personal email account for ...

Displaying poll results.
1 to 20 percent of my life.
  1218 votes / 3%
21 to 40 percent of my life.
  7557 votes / 19%
41 to 60 percent of my life.
  22241 votes / 58%
61 to 80 percent of my life.
  5321 votes / 14%
81 to 100 percent of my life.
  1122 votes / 2%
Still don't have one.
  488 votes / 1%
37947 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

I've had a personal email account for ...

Comments Filter:
  • I'm old. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by (245670) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @10:50PM (#36304394)

    Since 80s. My first email address had bangs in it and involved a UUCP connection that was made every 4 hours or so. My current email collection goes back to late January of '97 tho I probably have a couple of mailing list archives that predate that.

    • by jandrese (485)
      I didn't even count my old BBS email accounts. Technically they could be routed out Fidonet and eventually make it onto the internet, but it required my email to pass through three or four different BBSes on the way out, and at least some of those were still hand dialed, so who knew when the sysadmin would get around to synching his email. My first "real" email account was an AOL account. :(
      • AOL was bad, but so was MSN that came pre-loaded with Windows95. Newsgroups were abstracted out as "folders". Wicked.

      • by TWX (665546)

        Ah, good ol' Fidonet... Guaranteed to get your mail delivered in six days!

        A buddy of mine who ran a fidonet node waited so long to try to register Front Door that he couldn't find anyone to register it with. The software started saying, "Your SysOp is committing piracy! This copy of Front Door has been unregistered for more than Five Years!", and there was no good way at that point to resolve it...

        If I had counted Fidonet-enabled BBSes, I could have gone with the 61-80% option. Instead I opted for the 4

        • A buddy of mine who ran a fidonet node waited so long to try to register Front Door that he couldn't find anyone to register it with.

          Lol! Thanks, that made my day.

      • by Xtifr (1323)

        I think a bang-path address definitely qualifies, even though my first bang-path address was through a BBS. I was ...!apple!darkside!xtifr, which implied no affiliation with apple except that apple was a well-known hub that exchanged UUCP traffic with the darkside BBS. The main reason I think it qualifies is that the mail format and access tools (MUAs) that worked with bang-path email are still around and work just fine with modern "at-path" email. In fact, for a while, hybrid systems were common, so onc

    • Ditto that: Reed College in 1986, so writing to my dad at Hewlett Packard meant I had to type in the whole UUCP header: reed!ocgvax!hp!hplvla![dadname] or whatever it was, and several times I got some very snippy email back from people in between who said I'd routed personal email through a satellite uplink to Japan and please stop doing that for unimportant messages. Life's so much easier now, although I still have the Amiga in functional condition with all my email from 1987-1998. But I send about the s

    • Since 80s. My first email address had bangs in it and involved a UUCP connection that was made every 4 hours or so. My current email collection goes back to late January of '97 tho I probably have a couple of mailing list archives that predate that.

      Yup, same for me. I don't recall the whole damn path which streched over a line or two, but remember that it did include which seemed an appropriate domain name for its holders (Law Society of Upper Canada). I hardly sent or received any emails back then. Then there was the X.400 nightmare which was even more verbose, but luckily sank into oblivion, or at least out of view.

      I have email archives going back to about 1990 for work, and about 1993 for personal stuff. I'm not sure if I can still open

    • I'm with you. I had an Atari ST that had its very own UUCP software. :-) That's how I got my email. I was only 16 at the time.

    • by Inda (580031)
      Me too! (the old bit)

      I would suggest most people gained an email account in 1998/1999. This was the time when Windows 98 became popular and internet use exploded.

      I still smile when I see white vans advertising email addresses like,, and all the other now-dead ISPs. I know paying for an email account is beyond 'my dad' but these days there are so many better free email providers.

      I voted 33%.

      My daughter would have voted 105% - work that one out :-)
    • by Frederic54 (3788)
      Almost the same here, my first email date is about 1990, and I still have all my emails...
      • (Yes, I know that's not what you meant :-) A friend of my wrote a filk song called "He's Not On The Net" about the difficulties of maintaining a relationship with somebody who didn't have email, and she only had to update one line in the ~20 years since she first started performing it, but it's changed from being a cutting-edge thing to being puzzling to younger people.

        I do know people who met on the net back in the 80s, but that typically also included going to computer conventions where they'd meet IRL

      • by tsa (15680)

        I get hundreds of emails a week on my personal accounts, most of them automatically generated by forums when something happens and they think I have to know that. I stopped keeping all my emails long ago.

    • I thought it said "email accounts for X% of my life", like how Facebook accounts for a % of other peoples' lives. Of course I chose, "I don't have one yet", as in "I still don't have a life".

  • by cshark (673578) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @11:10PM (#36304514)

    It's so much fun to have an email account. I really like getting all that email from poor girls who can't afford clothing. I feel really bad for them, so I go to their websites and give them money. But then they want money every month, and it gets really expensive. They must be from foreign countries like Canada or something. I feel really bad for Canadians.

  • Does anyone remembers the time when hotmail's inbox max size was 2MB?
    Boy was it was it easy to clog someone's email account.

    I remember back in the 90s when I wanted to "sign up for hotmail" (I was a kid) and my friend thought it had something to do with sex letters.
    But then considering all the penis enlargement spams, he wasn't far from the truth.

    • by log0n (18224)

      I remember before there was Hotmail..

    • by Zumbs (1241138)
      Heh ... yeah, I switched to yahoo because their limit was 6 MB at the time. Before I registered the Hotmail account, I had an account at my University, though.
  • The younger you are, the younger it's possible for you to have gotten email. Old hat techies who were born in 1940 wouldn't be able to break the 50% mark no matter how hardcore they are, but anyone born 1990 or later will probably be able to truthfully pick one of the latter two options.

    It's funny, because this is the opposite of how these polls usually go.

    • by mqduck (232646)

      It doesn't favor the young unless you think a higher percentage is "better".

    • I was born in '49 and I've still managed to have an email account for just over 39% of my life. And, mind you, that doesn't count my accounts on various BBSs that were on FidoNet, either.
    • On the other hand, if you are now 10, you are unlikely to have had an e-mail address for a long time.
    • by vlm (69642)

      Old hat techies who were born in 1940 wouldn't be able to break the 50% mark no matter how hardcore they are

      Assuming a general public compuserve account in 1982, which is pretty late in the game, they'll hit 50% at the ripe ole age of 74 ... (2024-1982) / (2024-1940)

      A guy (basically all guys back then, just like now) who went to university in the 70s, or dialed up those new fangled BBS things in the very late 70s, could do better.

      The stereotypical corn chip eatin / mt dew drinkin / never exercisin /.-er is never going to make it to 74, in fact half that would be an achievement, but it is possible.

      If you very narr

      • by tsa (15680)

        That gives me an idea for a poll:

        I died when I was:

        - > 100 years old

        - 90 - 99 years old

        - 70 - 89 years old

        - 50 - 69 years old

        - 20 - 49 years old

        - 10 - 19 years old

        - 10 years old

        - I haven't been born yet, you insensitive clod!

    • The first record of an email being sent that I was able to find was 1962 (that's the first one sent between two computers - messages sent between users of the same time-sharing system were common before then: each user had a file that other users only had append permission to). By the '70s, it was pretty common among geeks at university or in tech companies. By the '80s, you could buy modems cheaply and dial in to one a large number of BBS or OSPs.
  • And instead rejoiced in seeing the the editors selected non-overlapping poll options.
    Hopefully no pedants complain about not having (20,21) %, (40,41) %, and so on.
    • I'm in one of the missing ranges. We got a modem when I was 12.5, and I'm 31.5 now. 19/31.5 = 60.3%. I picked the 61-80 range, on the assumption that it really meant 60 < x <= 80.
  • If I recall correctly, my first personal email was my high-school student address. Since then, I've had two other educational accounts (College #1 and #2), and about three different GMail accounts (only two of which were ever used seriously - the rest were throwaways).

    Man, and lately I've been feeling like I was old-school just because I remember the noise a 28.8 modem makes. Way to get a perspective.
    • by berryjw (1071694)
      Um, dude, some of us remember what a 300 baud modem sounds like, and were beside ourselves when we could get a 2400.
      • by gman003 (1693318)
        I know. But I've been hanging with a non-early-adopter crowd - people whose first 'net was broadband or 3G. Made me feel like the old, wise master. This poll has revised that perspective.
  • I "won" a Juno account in a scratch-off trivia promotion Sam Goody was having. You scratched off the answer you thought was best, and redeemed the ticket for your "prize" (a 3.5 inch disk) at the store - it was a pretty creative way of forcing a return trip to the store and to get somebody to seek out the service.

    I still remember that the question was about the songwriter who did the soundtrack for "She's The One" and that the answer was Tom Petty. It was a pretty big deal to a guy who didn't even have a
  • Prodigy. DXTH23B. Before that there was none, and this predates internet connections for common folks. I remember getting excited when I could email friends who had AOL at the time! Then it was, and since then I've had dozens upon dozens of email addresses. I currently use about 15 for various reasons, but gmail aggregates them into one email address for me. I love gmail.

    BTW if you're still around NDDF32B gimme a shout ;-)

    • by f8l_0e (775982)
      I had NCVG40B. It's amazing how you remember that stuff years after not using it.
  • My first ARPANet-style email account was at in 1994. I had an AOL account from the previous year, but didn't use the email feature much, since just about anyone I knew on-line in the late '80's/early '90's was on the three or four "elite" BBSes I frequented. I dicked with Fidonet once or twice, but not having anyone I couldn't contact with a local message, didn't need it.

  • ...or yahoo or some other account--you need a place for registration emails for forums etc (unless you WANT to be on their mailing list) or to sign up for rebates, coupons, etc.

    This way all of the spam goes to an evil account you visit on a infrequent basis and delete without reading.

    • Nope, just add a new entry in my aliases file. Initially, it forwards to my account. If I start getting spam, then it forwards to my honeypot address, so any mail from any servers sending the spam gets blacklisted.
  • by Wowsers (1151731) on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @08:14AM (#36306804) Journal

    How do you define a personal account? At university I had my own email address, but it was ultimately controlled by the university, and I didn't keep it when the course finished.

    I have junk mail accounts for use with forums etc, are they personal accounts?

    I've had different email addresses as I switched between different internet providers, but as I switch providers, those addresses are deleted.

    Eventually I bought my own personal domain name, now that DOES have it's own email accounts and addresses, as I'm the admin.

    So depending on what your definition of personal, I get four different answers.

  • I can still log into my first email account, created in 1989. The system was and is student-run, with a rule that accounts are removed after six months idle. It's no longer my primary email, but I still wade through the spam occasionally to see if anyone sent something there.
  • I'm 28 now and pretty sure I got my first email address in grade 8 or 9 at school, so that'd be almost precisely 50% of my life.

  • I suppose I had 'mail' of sort on BBSes, I know I had AOL mail at one time, but I was also admin and installer for an e-mail/office package on an IBM mainframe for 8-10 years I don't know which one predates the other but I know they predated the Beowulf cluster meme. I wonder - is anyone using a Beowulf cluster for spam filtering ?
  • I've had a couple of personal email accounts, occasionally moving to a different service and using that, so the one I'm using now isn't the one I started with. But as their use has overlapped, I have had "a" personal email account since getting the first one.
  • by dougman (908) on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @01:37PM (#36310164)

    My first email address was in 1991 (NDSU -, then when I was done with college. I registered my domain in 1996 and have used the same address since then. In fact, this June will celebrate 15 years of marriage to my email address and my wife!

    Three digit slashdot ID, four character .com domain, and married for 15 years - major achievements for a geek!

  • Got my first e-mail account when I was operating a BBS at age 14. It was a string of numbers and punctuation marks that I have since long forgotten.

  • If we count back to the old Compuserve accounts... yeah, since about 1985-ish. That'd be just about half. Of course I've had USEFUL email accounts for substantially less time. From there we had FidoNet, then more Compuserve, then in late '94 I started an ISP... The ISP is long since gone, as is its domain, but I kept the personal/family domain I registered a couple of years in.
  • I am 42 years old, and my first email address dated from 1982 was all numbers (long gone now), 72766,1640 or later when they offered an internet gateway. As of a couple of years ago I could still find archived messages online I posted from that address back in the 1980's and early 1990's..

  • I'm still stuck on a POTS party line, you insensitive clod!

  • Technically, while I didn't have an e-mail address until my teen years, I have had multiple personal email addresses from my late teens to now (I estimate I have around 30 email addresses at this point through various sources)

    because I have a personal email address on multiple fronts, the way the question is worded I can only assume that would count as time in addition to the first.

    By that metric I'd estimate I've had a personal email address for 700-1200% of my lifetime.

    Unless you mean "a" to be "
  • First email account:  MTS in Ann Arbor, in 1974.

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340


Forgot your password?