Or, alternatively titled “Why I Love G-mail: Reason Number 69”
Labels. Simple as that.
“What? Aida loving LABELS? Sacrilegious!“
No, dear readers. It is true. I love labels (though my relationships with them outside of G-mail is a bit more complicated than that). Labels not only allow me to more effectively organize my virtual correspondence, but their very existence also mirrors my life philosophy (or part of it).
With other email providers (e.g. Hotmail), we must organize our mail into folders. These make us “choose” where to put something, and an email can only be put into ONE folder at a time. This mirrors the realities of archiving physical papers. You can put a paper in a SINGLE folder. If you wanted to have papers in more than one place, you’d need to make copies, and these would just create clutter, and maybe you wanted to change ONE document and then would have to get all the OTHER copies and…yeah. Inefficient. Plus difficult choices have to be made in regards to classifying correspondence–“Is this more of an X or more of a Y? Hmmm. This has such and such thing, but it ALSO has this other thing, and THAT should be in THIS folder, but THIS should be in this OTHER one…”
You see the problem?
Labels, however, allow for things to hypothetically/virtually occupy multiple places at a time. Gone are the days where categories were mutually exclusive and we had to hierarchize an email’s content! We can label emails with “funny,” “financial aid,” “images,” AND “sex” if we so desire. A more visual explanation of how this works: we have a stack of papers, but instead of putting them in folders, we just attach various colored strings to them, so whenever we want papers that are somehow tagged as “blue”, we can pull the blue string and they all come toward us, still with all their other strings attached and intact. The reality is less messy than that explanation, but still. That’s the gist of it. Emails exist in a ‘space,’ and there is only ONE copy of each email…but we can access them through various channels.
And how is all this techno-babble related to my life philosophy? I believe in complexity and things that aren’t mutually exclusive. I don’t like trying to put things in compartments when I know I can only put them in ONE; I hate that hierarchization and inherent denial of intersectionality. I love seeing the connections between things, and the current ways in which we organize our lives are often conducive to the OPPOSITE of that.
I prefer my little boxes with malleable sides, holes, connecting tubes, and glitter.
Some other features I wish non-virtual life had:
– Search function (this would be SO USEFUL when reading books and articles)
– Tags (which are basically just labels…but I feel these are more specific?)
– Zoom feature
– Virus protection (just imagine it, during sex–“You’re about to enter an unsafe area. Do you wish to continue? This orifice doesn’t have a security certificate. Your body has detected and blocked an attempted intrusion attempt. Virus protection has detected herpes on this person’s genitals; do you wish to exit the room?”)
– Adjustment slider bars for saturation, contrast, brightness, and hue