Internet Throwbacks – Emails I’ve sent

12th January 2017

Internet Throwbacks - Emails I've sent

New series alert! Internet Throwbacks is a mini series in which I reminisce about stupid and embarrassing things I did online throughout my teenage years. 

At the end of 2016 I decided to adopt the “inbox zero” attitude. As soon as an email lands in my inbox I either reply to it, delete it, or move it elsewhere. So you will find that my inbox, at present, is completely empty.

But my sent box is not. No, that’s a treasure trove of memories spanning nearly 10 years.

A few months ago I was browsing through the emails in my sent box in an attempt to find a copy of my personal statement from my university application (don’t ask, it’s complicated!) and I ended up reading hundreds of emails that I’d sent over the years, from 2009 ’til today.

And my goodness did I cringe!

I started reading them out to Tyrone and we laughed so much about how annoying and awful I was almost 8 years ago.

They were too good to keep a secret so I thought I’d share some of the highlights with you guys.

  • I sent angry replies to weight loss pills spam. What did I think I was going to achieve?!
  • I got a sub-domain and I emailed my host asking for help with building my website because my coding knowledge wasn’t good enough. Basically, I knew how to add headings (not even p tags), images and links, but didn’t know how to position anything! God damn you Piczo and your drag and drop feature.
  • I sent a massive email I sent to my friend Leander with weird facts about my favourite film, The Dark Knight. I was obsessed.
  • I emailed someone to ask if I downloaded something from their website if I would get a virus. Like they’d tell me if they knew!
  • I emailed Georgie multiple times asking her for coding help. I’m so sorry Georgie! I was a pain in the arse!
  • I found a email disqualifying me from a “win a domain” referral competition because I cheated by clicking my own link hundreds of times.
  • I sent an email to someone telling them that someone else had copied all of their tutorials from their website. It worked because the content thief then took the tutorials down…
  • …but I didn’t stop there because I then emailed someone who had a “wall of shame” on their website and asked them to name and shame the content thief. Oh dear!
  • Someone emailed me asking for coding help and I talked about absolute positioning. This was 2009. I had zero idea what the hell absolute positioning was back then and my response was complete bullsh*t.
  • I discovered about 200 emails responding to “affiliate” applications for my website. I didn’t know what an affiliate was back then but it was the in thing at the time and I jumped on the bandwagon.
  •  I sent multiple emails to my MSN friends about Viagra because of a virus on my computer. Probably obtained from downloading a dodgy copy of The Dark Knight…
  • I set up two fanlistings (remember those?!) for my favourite members of Kasabian, but the fanlisting script didn’t work so I had to manually send out emails to people who applied! Fortunately, neither fanlisting was popular.
  • I emailed my old college two or three times asking to change my subject choices before I started studying there because I couldn’t make up my mind! I almost studied Photography and English Literature. What?!!
  • I found the very first email asking for advice about pursuing a legal case for medical negligence. At least I’ve got something positive to end on.

If you are ever really bored on Sunday, and you are looking for a simple, free way to entertain yourself, hop on your computer, scroll back through your old email, and cringe at all those emails you once sent.

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  1. omgGGGG LOLLLL I think you need to re-send me the emails you sent me! I don’t remember if I responded in anger or in a really “ugh” way, but I don’t have my own replies because I actually also clear my Sent folder too. I probably delete anything over a year old, unless it‘s applications or some important documents. Most general correspondence would be long gone now.

    I remember replying to some spam emails with a ticked-off “please remove me from your list” – I can’t believe I bothered. Now I just delete them.

    I think I kept a lot of the lovey-dovey emails Nick and I sent when we were flirting with each other. Some of them even have cute audio clips LOL. :) And that wasn’t even too long ago. ;)

    Oh, affiliates… hahaha. Your post is giving me a good laugh right now because I only just realised how much emails can really reveal how we interacted with people on the internet, or not even people – just whatever gets thrown our way.

    I still have some of my fanlistings 😳 But I’m kinda getting over it now. I’m still a staffer at the network so it’s still very much alive. But what I’ve found is that the number of fanlistings that have been removed in the past year has been high. I don’t think the community is as big as it used to be, and there’s only around 20,000 fanlistings? There used to be 50,000+, and even 90,000 at its biggest. It’s a little sad, and I think of how obsessed I used to be with getting “wishlisters”, and now I still have some of my favourite subjects but I don’t care so much for the fanlisting. I even remember people IRL telling me that if it wasn’t a full-fledged fan site, why did I bother? I honestly just liked showing off my graphic design skills 😜 But the same people said “you’re just getting a link on this one website”. It’s kind of true, but how the whole network started was something of value and it brought a lot of designers/coders together.

    • Holly

      Honestly I don’t think I can handle the embarrassment haha! If I remember correctly, you handled it pretty well. I’d have told 15 year old me to f-off!

      I didn’t know they still existed! 20,000 is still a lot! I don’t know why I struggled so much with the script and why it didn’t work. But because it didn’t work I ended up learning about SQL so at least there’s that, haha!

  2. Awww, I did that too, the emails I had a few years ago… they were so bad. :)) I don’t have the old emails, as I made a new email address with my married name. The emails from my maiden name account were fun, I think, those from when I was a teenager.
    It was fun to read your story, I can imagine how funny it was for you to see them again. x

  3. I’ve always been one who wants to keep the inbox nice and tidy (plus I haven’t kept older e-mail addresses either because I was so stupid about what names to use) so I don’t have anything left. Which I’m rather happy about now, lol! I don’t think I’ve written anything too embarrassing though.
    Replying to spam e-mails is an interesting one! But I understand why you’d want to do it.

    • Holly

      I don’t think I understood what spam emails were. I thought they were real emails, sent specifically to me! Which is why weight loss emails annoyed me so much!

  4. Amy

    Oh wow, some of those are hilarious. I can’t believe you used to reply to spam! I’d love to see some of those replies.

    I used to have a contact form where you could apply to be “affies” too, because all the cool kids were doing it. It seems so strange now though, there’s no way I’d do that anymore. I used to read people’s ‘links’ pages and get upset if I wasn’t on there too, but I just use them to find new blogs to read now!

    I don’t think there’s anything really embarrassing in my email account. I mainly use my “professional” one now, which I set up when I was applying to uni, so a lot of the old stuff got left behind. I really want to have a look at my old one now, but there’s so much junk mail that I don’t think I’d dare look through it!

    I used to email my host all the time too! When I bought my first domain, I had no idea how to get stuff on there, so I think I emailed asking ‘where my dashboard was’, as if it was like Piczo! How embarrassing!

    • Holly

      I don’t think I realised it was spam. I would reply in block capitals saying something like “STOP WITH THESE EMAILS”. Because that helped…

      I was so worried about my host discovering that I couldn’t really code and deleting my account. She had to explain to me where and what the public_html folder was. I feel so embarrassed!

  5. I’ve started to adapt to an “inbox zero” attitude recently too! It makes me more excited to receive them because I can actually do something with them haha!

    Omg, I’m cracking up at some of the emails you sent. Haha. I actually delete all of the emails in my sent folder xD I’m not sure why I do because sometimes they prove to be useful to go back to but I do :P Haha. I sort of wish I didn’t because from memory I remember some very embarrassing emails being sent by me.

    “I sent angry replies to weight loss pills spam. What did I think I was going to achieve?!” HAHAHAHA, I do this with reviews tbh. Everyone deserves to know and they should be ashamed of themselves! :P

    • Holly

      I feel the same. I’m like “Ooo look! An email!”.

      Haha, I feel ashamed of myself, but it’s so funny!

  6. This post had me cracking up! XD

    Oh my gosh, the email chains!! I was obsessed with Pirates of the Caribbean in middle school, so me and my friends would forward quizzes and other random chain emails associated with the movie to each other. I found a couple of those and talk about embarrassing!

    LOLing at the virus one. I was always super paranoid when I was younger about downloading things. I thought everything was going to give you a virus!

    This makes me want to go through my sent folder! I’ve been cleaning up my inbox – and that’s turned up some pretty funny emails, so I can’t even imagine what’s gone out of my sent box because I haven’t ever cleaned that up! Well it gave you some good laughs, and at least you can see how far you’ve come!

    • Holly

      I also went through a phase where I was obsessed with Pirates of the Caribbean too!

      I got in so much trouble when I filled my computer with viruses. I learned my lesson. I’m so cautious even now.

  7. Cat

    haha, this was fun to read! I remember doing several of the same things, like angrily replying to a spam email and reporting thieves to wall of shame sites. I also did the affiliate thing on many of my sites; I even still have it on my graphics site, haha. I’m actually amazed that fanlistings are still a thing! I used to run a couple, and I’ve shut them both down a while ago.

    I used to have a Yahoo email, which they deleted, so I can’t go back to my teenage emails. Probably a good thing because it’d be cringe-worthy!

    • Holly

      I’m so glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who replied to spam!

      I was also surprised to find out that Fanlistings still exist, and just how many there are.

  8. I’d love to go through my old emails but I don’t have access to any of my really old emails (from when I was a teenager), my email account was on my dads company server and he passed away in 04, and all my really old gmail accounts are gone. I’m sure I had a lot of embarrassing emails from when I was a teenager, I honestly don’t remember all the websites I had back then or everyone I was hosted by, lol.

    • Holly

      Oh no! That’s a shame.

      I remember quite a few of my hosts, just because they were so terrible haha! I had websites closed down on me without any explanation. Not fun.

  9. Kya

    Hahahaha. These are so fantastic. :’)

  10. These are so funny! I’d be scared to see what I’d find, maybe I should go look myself! Also funny, I majored in English and photography!

    • Holly

      Haha, I do recommend having a look back at your old emails if you can. So funny!

      Oh wow! What are the chances?! I ended up doing more science related subjects. I think I would have done better if I’d stuck with the original plan of studying photography!