It may seem like email has been around forever, but actually it is exactly 40 years since the first email was sent by the man credited with inventing it, engineer Ray Tomlinson, on Wednesday 8th June 1971.


Tomlinson was a computer engineer who was working for a company that had been hired to help build the Arpanet, the predecessor to the Internet, at the time. And in case you were wondering, that very first email message simply said: 'QWERTYUIOP' which as any self-respecting geek will know is the top line of letters on a standard QWERTY keyboard. QWERTYUIOP is actually quite apt if you ask me, as it makes as much sense as most of the email sent today considering more than 90% of it by volume is spam.

But don't let the abuse of email taint the fact that without it our lives just wouldn't be the same, and in a very positive way. Email is, in many ways, a return to an age of letter writing and as a writer myself I cannot see that as anything but a huge positive.

Research by Sky Broadband has uncovered some interesting email related facts:42% of Brits have not sent a snail mail letter in the last six month
51% of British workers would rather send an email than pick up the phone to a colleague, whereas only 24% would do the rather do the reverse
25% of Brits don't want their boss seeing the email they have been sending at work, and 11% have flirted with 'someone they should not have' by email

So, happy 40th birthday email, but I can't help wondering if it will still be here in 2051…

Comments
Informative.
Attachments email.jpg 43.41 KB

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

42% of Brits have not sent a snail mail letter in the last six month

that would have been true for me before email

51% of British workers would rather send an email than pick up the phone to a colleague, whereas only 24% would do the rather do the reverse

its easier to say something someone would not like to hear (i.e yesterdays report was awful) by email than to say it directly to them (cowardly too). How many people have been dumped by email.

25% of Brits don't want their boss seeing the email they have been sending at work, and 11% have flirted with 'someone they should not have' by email

that's because they're mostly not work related and show how much spare time they have actually got (not what your boss wants to hear). Why not send your naughty emails in your own time?

Edited 5 Years Ago by frogboy77: n/a

I think it's interesting that ten years ago, email was looked at as the most modern way of conversing with friends, replacing snail mail. However, today, even email is looked at as archaic, with Facebook and Tweeting on the go being the most contemporary way of keeping in touch with friends on a regular basis.

I certainly email much less than I did 10 years ago, or even 20 years ago for that matter. As Dani says, it's Twitter and Facebook that are slowly replacing email as the default method for keeping in touch with family and friends. That said, the most special person in my life I keep in touch with mainly by SMS first and foremost, then email...

call me archaic, but I refuse to use any "social network".
I've some IM tools, 2 mobile phones, 4 email accounts, Skype, and a landline. If people still can't get into contact with me when they want/need to they can assume I don't want to have contact with them and I sure don't want half the world to know who I'm chatting with or what I'm saying (as is the case with idiocies like Twitter or Facebook).

>> I certainly email much less than I did 10 years ago,

Me too. When email was "new" and "hip" back in the day, you would email random people who you vaguely knew; kind of like facebook nowadays.
If I want to talk to someone, I give them a call. If I don't want to talk to them, I don't want to mail them. I do not care what my classmate of 15 years back found in his breakfastcereal today :)

well, that was interesting :), i had no idea who created email or how long it has been around. tis funny how sometimes- we dont think about those kinds of things!

I have been in the IT field from past many years, but have no idea about this. It sounds really interesting.

Comments
Sig spam fail.

I would have thought texting is much more popular today than email, twitter or facebook. People are always texting, even while driving (and getting into accidents)

It seems to be intersting to know that it is so old
but with increasing use of internet and computers has increased its use and fame

I remember trying to send an email in 1984 - the address was 25+ characters long, case sensitive and pretty meaningless. -- Never got that first email send; my first was not until 1988 I think