Do you save emails like you would save letters?

I have boxes of incriminating teenaged letters from a flock of far flung friends. I would never throw away a true personal snail mail letter.

I keep the emails of my really good friends in the same way I would save their letters. I’m not really likely to read many of them again, but I think they may be of interest at a later date, especially to their children, if they don’t save their own “sent” emails.

Emails that are merely scheduling or strictly business get deleted, but even relatively insignificant short ones get saved if there is anything humorous or conversational that reveals the personality of the sender and they are close to me.

How about you?

Will our future biographers be searching for old computers in the attic?

I never delete emails, and I never throw out letters, but I don’t think the two are really the same. I save letters because they’re rare, because by the time my friends and I got old enough to actually want to send anyone a letter, we all had email, and MSN, and then Friendster, and then Myspace, then Facebook. So on the very few occasions I get a handwritten letter I tuck it away in a drawer and keep it forever.

I keep my email around because I can’t be bothered deleting it. Imagine being assailed by a constant stream of mail, maybe 2% actual communication and 98% junk, and letting it all pile up on a table until it overflows and spills onto the floor and then fills up the room. That is my email. Fortunately, email inboxes don’t take up any physical space. It probably bears pointing out that most people under a certain age (though I’m not sure what that age might be) use MSN and Facebook for personal communication rather than email, so I don’t really get any email worth saving, anyway.

Yeah, out of vanity and packratedness, I archive e-mails that are important to me.

I’ve archived emails that are of particular significance… a good part of the courtship between The Boy and myself happened electronically, and I actually saved a good part of the IM logs and emails from over the years. I get a kick out of seeing our relationship evolve over the months.

I also keep all the emails for wedding invites, birth announcements and the like, same as I would with paper versions.

I should add that I’m a compulsive packrat when it comes to sentimental keepsakes. I have the corsage I wore to senior prom packed away, along with all sorts of other mementoes… so I wouldn’t ever describe myself as average when it comes to my email-saving habits.

I’ve always wondered why politicians and corporate bigwigs save email and text messages that have incriminating or scandalous information that later can be subpoenaed. If they really want to save them, you’d think they’d transfer them to disk and encrypt the files.

Your question presupposes that I save letters. I generally don’t.

I save emails because it’s easier than deleting them.

I throw away letters (in most cases), because it’s easier than finding space to store them.

Why would I delete emails? Disk space is cheap.

Keerist no! I delete all email and text messages almost the instant they’re read. Keeping things like that around serves no useful purpose other than to give the wrong people evidence to use against you. Delete, wipe, then wipe again.

I save them for the most part. I have a file for really important ones, but the rest are all just in my inbox. I also save pictures from friends into files immediately, so I don’t lose them.
I have been known to go back a few years to find something I had forgotten(birthday, anniversary…), so it is nice to have them.

I trash a lot of stuff too. All forwards, jokes, & really lame stuff gets tossed right away.

What wrong people? What evidence? I mean, really?

Me neither.

I do tend to save emails until my mailbox fills to capacity, just because it’s easier than doing anything else with them. Now that I have Gmail, that’s not even an issue.

That’s what everybody says, right up to the point when the Feds say “You have the right to remain silent.” Who knows what could be construed as evidence some time in the future. If I start sending you emails alluding to a conspiracy, and you never delete them, then you’re going down with me. Written communications is what doomed Mary Queen of Scots. If she’d never written anything down, she still be alive. Well, not really, given the time factor. But still…

Umm… paranoid much? :dubious:

Why delete emails? Memory is cheap, wait, free these days. The only emails I delete are spam and stuff that is sent to me that I don’t even read in the first place. Everything else is stored by Microsoft or Google. The only personal correspondence I store on my own is IM logs. (Like somebody mentioned previously my current relationship evolved over MSN Messenger so I have those records.)

The ability of the digital medium to ease preservation is pretty amazing. I use it to its fullest. I will only be angry with it when I want it gone and realize it won’t just delete (Microsoft and Google can always keep some type of record of my life’s emails, bastards). Or when technologies change and the current formats are incompatible with the new ones. That’ll be annoying.

But I will not be the one hung by his own emails. How many times do you read about someone getting caught because the Powers That Be subpoenaed his email and phone records? I have enemies, I do!

(I actually saw my DIA record once. Embarrassing. It added up to “Noisy but harmless.”) :o:(

To be honest, if I lived in a regime that was as scary, dishonest and nefarious as you seem to fear, it would be quite a relief when they came and cut off my head.

If the mundane crud that dominates my inbox can incriminate me, I’m doomed without it anyway, because any other mundane crud could substitute.

Google Desktop is my freakin’ brain!

I have all of my work emails going back to (IIRC) early 2004 when a migration mishap clobbered my personal files. But I do have everything since, (and backed to CD) and Google crawls through it all. You have no idea how wonderful it is when the boss calls up asking for info on some rare and arcane application, and you can pull up support info in moments. :cool:

I keep all emails from people I know socially, except for ‘pass this cute email along’ types. Email takes up so little space and is easy enough to move from the inbox to a folder, I don’t see the point in deleting them.