Few months ago, I opened my Facebook and found this post
Ok – granted that this post is 4 months old, but oh wow, it has been twenty years?! How crazy time flies!
I wasn’t (and still am not) a really big fan of romantic movies, but a few of them caught my heart. I initially didn’t have any interest in Notting Hill, but it grew on me. Not sure why – perhaps it was Julia Robert’s smile since she has such an infectious smile and I had such a girl crush on her – but that’s a story for another day.
Now, You’ve Got Mail. I honestly couldn’t remember when did I watch it for the first time. Pretty sure it wasn’t on the cinema cause: 1) I was a broke student 2) No way my parents will let me watch something like this on my age that time.
So my conclusion would be that.. I watched it sometime on TV – you know, the kind of Layar Emas they used to have in R*TI (gosh darn I am old).
Anyway, when I watched it the first time, I felt a rush of familiar feelings. Mainly because the story touched my personal lives on so many levels – especially the email part. Okay, the mIRC part as well.
For people who are around my age (gosh darn I am old), you might have used mIRC before. Remember this screen?
Who remembers going to the internet cafe and spent like 5k IDR/hour for chatting to some unknown people out there with weird nicknames? I swear we were so naive back then – if this happened now with teenagers, people would be freaking out.
Anyway, back to the movie. Other than mirc, who remembers the fun of getting a new email in your inbox? Contrary to now where people use emails for almost everything, back then it was solely for personal use. The emails that we got in our inbox came from people that we actually know and we treated it just like physical mail. Full of anticipation and excitement.
I used to have an email client installed on my computer – I think it was Incredimail? And when there’s an email coming to my inbox, there will be a cute notification popping out at the corner of my laptop. I remember I could choose between a cute dog, cat, or some butler. The butler was so cute cause he literally saying: “You’ve got mail” in a deep voice.
Incredimail also provided its users with several ready to use templates to send our emails – you know, the ones with heavy background image e.g clouds, flowers – and with emojis/gifs as well! Of course, the 15-year-old me didn’t know better back then and even though it took forever for my email to send what’s with the colorful template that I chose, I still happily used it.
Other than that, my emailing days were choke full of emotions. I remember busting our phone bills cause I used the internet too much (no such thing as wifi with unlimited data back then, kids). I remember waiting for emails to be downloaded to my computer – and being impatient too since the internet speed was… pitiful.
I remember getting rejection emails from the overseas universities that I applied to.
I remember opening application page and checking my test number – to find out that I got accepted at the university that Papa hoped for.
I remember chatting with ‘friends’ over at a forum to discuss an entrance examination problems before our examination date – and checking up on each other on important dates (registration deadline, information from the website, etc)
I also remember my very first email address – it was so embarrassing but it’s something that I will keep to myself until you ask me yourself :p
And I remember being asked my email address by my high school crush – and he actually emailed me regularly.
It was a weird era, I would say. On the other hand, the internet was already spreading, hence teenagers were already familiar with email and mirc concepts, but the penetration speed was really slow. As I said, there was no such thing as speedy internet (TELK*M definitely lied to us) at home and most of the times people needed to rely on internet cafe to check their emails and everything. The smartphone was non-existing and even if you did have one that can connect to the internet, you would think a thousand times before actually using your phone’s native browser.
But it was also a fun time. So many things and memories on those early days.
Nowadays, the email client is just getting lighter and lighter. People don’t really care with pretty templates or cute notifications. It’s all about speed and essence.
Although I do understand the evolution, sometimes I yearn for those… slower times. Yes, your email might not be replied in hours or even days, but isn’t the waiting that makes everything more rewarding in the end?