What does your e-mail address say about your cell phone?

The next logo for AOL, used from 2006-2009

Image via Wikipedia

Many others have written about e-mail address prejudice  (see Lifehacker and Gizmodo) and I have to confess to having a  strong case of it. What does this mean? As soon as I see or hear what e-mail address someone has, I make all sorts of judgements. One of these is an assumption of what cell phone they use. The opposite is also somewhat true.

Now let me say that many of my beloved friends and family have many of these e-mail accounts and phones…. no hard feelings.

E-mail Address Cell Phone
AOL.com Motorola Razr or similar
Hotmail.com Samsung or LG Flip or Candy bar phone, maybe a “txting” phone
Yahoo.com Blackberry or Palm Pre
Gmail.com iPhone or Android Phone
Custom domain (usually firstname@lastname.com) Android Phone or Jailbroken iPhone

Now of course these aren’t hard lines. I know folks with Hotmail and blackberries, and I know GMAIL users with blackberries, but overall, I find these pairings quite frequent.

Why? I think one’s e-mail address service is generally representative of adoption of new technologies. Those that have AOL or Hotmail addresses are mostly saying, “I know these new services/phones are better but I don’t care….” In fairness, AOL, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail are making efforts to improve their services to keep up with GMAIL, but IMHO, it’s too little, too late. Those that switch to GMAIL realize very quickly why it’s (IMHO again) such a superior service. Yahoo and Microsoft  should be particularly ashamed of ceding market share when they used to have such market-leading products. I’m also not saying that platforms like Blackberry or Palm OS are clearly inferior, but the full implications of their sparse app stores and/or outdated phones/operating systems/UIs mean that there are clearly tradeoffs with not adopting one of the two pioneering mobile phone platforms.

Like many prejudices, making broad assumptions means you’re going to be very wrong quite a bit of the time, but in this case, I’ve found that I’m right far more often…What do you guys think? Is this true? do you have other suggestions to add to the list? What else does someone’s email address or phone choice say about them?

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6 responses to “What does your e-mail address say about your cell phone?

  1. I find this to be fairly accurate among most of my friends and acquaintances, but maybe my stodgy cheapness keeps me from fitting it so well.

    Being in love with Sony Ericsson’s Cybershot phones, I use my K850i’s Exchange sync capabilities to keep my Google contacts and calendar within reach on the phone, but I prefer to keep my Gmail on the desktop, so I use AOL’s push capabilities to only forward special alerts to my phone.

    I pay less for my cell service, too. :^)

  2. @ken I hear you about the costs of both smartphone devices as well as data plans. I think your tweaking of your push and sync settings definitely puts you in a unique user class.

    Now that I think about it, I actually know quite a few folks who are very proficient technologically but don’t want to spend the money on smartphones. Maybe I need a new row in my table :).

  3. i agree. what about mobile me though? obvious one i think, but worth a mention.

    there are some yahoo and iPhone users out there too….mostly because yahoo had free push. since then, many yahoo users (myself included) switched to gmail…but not quite everyone yet….

  4. @keith Yeah – I thought mobileme kind of too obvious, not to mention the fact that almost nobody uses it. I think it might have been a mistake for Apple to change the domain from @mac.com to @me.com, think Apple fanboys were proud to have a .mac e-mail. re: Yahoo e-mail folks using iPhones, no question – that’s why I said the lines weren’t clear, but I find these to be more common associations than others.

  5. Ha, you nailed it Ron! I am a Yahoo guy from the first time they created their mail app and so Blackberry and Yahoo just seemed to make sense. Now that I have my own domain, I am using Gmail for my email, both business and personal and guess what…I have a Droid X Android 2.1 phone.

    The domains you forgot however include the cable provider emails (I see a ton of Comcast). And what ever happened to Excite? I still have an active email there for junk.

  6. @Mark – glad my insights (euphemism for prejudice?) were right at least in your case.

    You’re right – I’d group cable/ISP provider e-mails with AOL…. We all keep junk e-mail accounts, I don’t use those to judge, however, someone astutely pointed out on Twitter (http://twitter.com/QuillJen/status/24329368815) that the e-mail address someone gives you (e.g. if they give you their junk email account) says a lot about what they think about you…..

    A side note (may blog about this at some point) – interesting how many people now comment on blog posts via twitter instead of in the comments section.

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