One of the most common traits of humans is that we always take things for granted. We tend to underestimate the value of things, just because we use it every day and it works, as it should. We do not think of all the effort and hard work that was put into something to make it work. We do not think about how it evolved into what it is today.
Email is one of those things.
Almost every person in this modern day use emails regularly. Email is how we communicate today. We use Emails for everything from job applications to a random inquiry in an organization to even ordering food or subscribing to a magazine. Email is one of the most widely accepted form of communication globally. It wasn’t always this way. Email used to be really primitive, and lacked most of the features that we use today.
Over the last 40 years, email has evolved a lot. Not a lot of people know that email is much older than the internet itself. In the earliest form of email, all that happened was a message was kept in a user’s directory in a spot where they could see. It was just that simple. This was around the 1960s. In 1965, Email was introduced to MIT, where they used the first email system known as MAILBOX. Before the internetwork era, email could only be used to send messages to other users of the same mainframe computer. Then, the first internetwork email was sent by Ray Tomlinson. He is also credited for inventing the Email in 1972. Ray Tomlinson was the one who picked the ‘@’ symbol to denote sending messages. After that, anyone using the internet only had to pick a name-of-user@name-of-his-computer to send emails.
The use of emails had risen so quickly that by 1977, the US postal service started considering the email as a potential threat. It was only in 1982 that the term ‘email’ was first used. The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) was introduced in 1982. Microsoft Mail is the first commercial email product, which was released for the mac. The Email spams which are a regular occurrence nowadays only began in the 1990s. HTML email allowed rich formatting within the messages. Popular email services like MS outlook, Yahoo! Mail were released in the 1990s as well. The Hotmail was the first free Web-based email service, and the users had to pay to use any other email client before that. Today, we can’t even imagine paying a single penny for email. Only after the beginning of the 21st century, the email familiar to us now came to existence. Gmail, one of the most popular email services now, was released publicly only in 2007. For a more detailed timeline of the evolution of the email, click on the following link: http://www.howtogeek.com/93943/the-evolution-of-email-infographic/ .
In spite of all the gimmicks of the internet, email is one of the oldest, but still one of the more widely used applications of it. More than 2.5 billion users use the email worldwide, and according to the website emailisnotdead.com, there will be 5.2 billion email accounts by 2018. Every hour 122,500,453,020 emails are sent. The statistics are simply astounding. More statistics are available at http://www.emailisnotdead.com/ .
This article is just a brief overview on the Evolution of the email, but interested readers can click on the links above to know more.
Email is just one of the many things we take for granted. From the humble beginnings in the 1960s to the current form of the Email, it has taken a huge leap to become what it is today. So, before you blindly click send on your next email, think about all the things that had to happen in the past to make it possible for you to send that email today.