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Email Diaries

It was, I believe, during Pimm's presentation about Online Diaries that someone brought up how email correspondence sometimes becomes diaristic in nature. This leads me to a somewhat embarrassing confession: I am engaged in just such a correspondence. In and of itself, that revelation may not seem all that embarrassing, but embarrassment is all in the details.

The correspondence originated earlier this semester, shortly after a point in late September when I decided to quit AIM like a smoking habit I could no longer afford. (FYI: I successfully quit for about 2 months, and have new resumed smoking IM cigarettes as much if not more than before.) This decision on my behalf led a good friend of mine, when she had some small, AIM-sized tidbit to tell me that just couldn't wait until the next time we saw each other face-to-face (so yes, the email diary is kept with someone on this campus), to resort to emailing me at high volume with very low levels of content. At first this annoyed me, but then I found occasion to reply in like fashion, and now I don't really want to tell you how many pages of my in-/outbox are taken up by emails from/to this friend, nor how many emails, on average, we exchange daily. And as I've said, the exchanges are very journalistic in nature, generally being something along the lines of "this happened and I feel this way about it," and while the reply may engage with what the first person sent, it could just as easily be a parallel "this is what happened to me and here's how I feel about it." Okay god fine, I'll give you an example:

Me: make sure i find our jose gonzales tickets before next thursday. i am sick. ugh.
Friend: i was just about to write to you. i am in my room. i am covered in clay. i am writing a presentation about succinate.
Me: i'm cold.
Friend: i like chamomile tea. you should drink some tea.

I'm serious. There are pages and pages of email exchanges as silly and trifling as this, and then there are quite a few with some serious length and personal content. And I can't bring myself to delete a one of them because they provide such a fantastic record of what I was feeling/thinking/doing on any given day this semester. And it's a totally necessary feature of this diary that it's in the form of an email correspondence, because I would never (and I know because I've tried and failed utterly in the past) be able to keep this sort of record by myself, for myself -- for some reason, even though it doesn't always seem like we're in dialogue, that other person has to be there. And that's probably why I will continue to receive emails from the "System Administrator" at 12 am sharp every night.

Hey! That was me! I

Hey! That was me! I recognize that thought! ;)

I spent a summer working in Peru, at a medical clinic in the Andes. During my (rare) free moments, I would scribble little notes on a pad, and then, when I got back to civilization every week, I'd pay my neuvo sol and furiously type up my incoherencies and email them off to my family and my sweetheart. My mom wrote me back, once, that she had heard something about the movement away from writing by hand to writing by email and had resolved not to delete a single one of my messages. She wrote (I have saved it): "I am saving these all. You will want them some day. They are the diary of this part of your life."

And she did. And she was right.

So don't delete them!

That's really sweet. It

That's really sweet. It makes me wish I'd been better about the emails back from abroad.

The system administrator can

The system administrator can go....well, I won't say it. But how do you make them be quiet? I delete things in the inbox, I empty the deleted items, they email me regardless. Does the count include your sent items? Where are these hidden emails?

System administrator

Yes, the count definitely includes your sent items. You've gotta clear those out.