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…