You can’t have my email address and I don’t want your junk.
There’s my grumpy old man cry, but it’s not without merit. Too often, when I sign up for a service, I’m required to provide my email address. Often, this is for practical reasons, but just as often, the site just doesn’t have a justifiable need-to-know. They just want to send junk and promotions.
But rather than disconnect myself, I needed a solution. To address this very problem, people often create a separate email account for these types of websites, knowing that it’ll become overwhelmed with junk, whilst leaving their primary email a sacred haven for more important correspondence. Failing to find an alternative to the mandatory email-divulging requirements (because these sites always require that you confirm it’s a valid email by clicking a link sent to it), I, too, finally relented and adopted this solution. But I’m a techie, so I’m not simply going to Gmail for this. No, I’m not creating a run-of-the-mill dummy email, I’m creating an alter ego! A doppelgänger! An…Arbiter of Techno-Ethereal Ontology!
Okay, that might be a little cumbersome to adopt as a username, but as this mystical stand-in must remain a spectral whisper, I shan’t divulge its true name, because…you know…then you’d be immune to its powers. Some LeGuin shit right there.
And because I don’t want to divulge its true name, I couldn’t use it as the email user name, so instead, I will use my server’s email platform to create…an alias! That’s right, an alias to my doppelgänger–additional layers of mystery. I shall become a shadow of the Internet. WHOIS ain’t got shit on me!
Okay, “subscriptions” is a rather anticlimactic alias considering the pretentious melodrama from earlier, but I needed it simple to remember and type.
And so, I created the doppelgänger user account on the server, then by leveraging the server’s mail software, I designated the aforementioned alias. Now I can simply use the server’s Roundcube-based webmail client and sign into the doppelgänger account as needed (no push notifications!). I sent a test email from my primary account to firstname.lastname@example.org and…
Success! So why bother with this more difficult solution that essentially does the same thing as a free mail service? Well, there’s the reason that I can, but also that I can then enable and disable the email address at will, without losing the inbox, so if I start getting too much junk mail in the dummy account, I’ll disable the alias and make a new one, which will cause all future junk mail to bounce, and I won’t have to change my login to the main doppelgänger account–just set up a new alias and forward that to the doppelgänger instead.
Why can’t all just play nice on the Internet to begin with?