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Book Chapter

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digital information technologies, information technology, email


Email is the method of sending, receiving, and organizing messages using a computer. Barely a few decades ago, the only way to send messages and documents was to mail them physically at the post office (or use courier services like FedEx and UPS). Email transformed the way we communicate. It allows us to send and receive messages and documents instantaneously, regardless of the physical location of the sender or the receiver. Along with services like instant messaging and video calling, email spurred global e-commerce by breaking geographical barriers and allowing friends and family to stay in touch on a day-to-day basis for little to no cost. To mail a letter through the postal service, you needed to write the letter or take a printout of the letter, put it in an envelope, attach stamps, and write the mailing address on the envelope. If you have access to a smart phone or computer, email is much easier. You only need to know the email address of the person you want to email, then type the message, and include any documents you want to attach to the message. Clicking the “Send” button will instantly transfer the email from your inbox to the receiver’s inbox, while you continue to work on your computer.

Email is critical for students and adults in the modern world. As a high schooler, you probably receive important notifications from your school and are required to submit assignments through email. These days, most job applications are sent and received through email because email not only helps deliver information and documents but also serves as a permanent record of your interactions. When you shop online for clothes or use food delivery services, you may get an email or a text message that you can refer to for details or in case of a disagreement with the other party. A critical feature of email compared to instant messaging is that emails are stored in virtual mailboxes, and have the advantage of never getting lost, unless deleted deliberately. In most cases, depending on your email provider, you will be able to restore even deleted messages from the Trash folder for a period of time.

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