I’ve had a snarled ball of anxiety in my chest since last Wednesday. It’s rare that I get tied up in knots over anything these days. I’m more laid back than I’ve ever been in my whole life, which makes the issue that’s got me going nutty even more exasperating. It’s been effing with my serenity in a major way, and frankly, this will not stand, man.
What has got me all out of sorts, you ask?
Well, the bane of my existence is a mandated, and very untimely, modification in my technological capabilities.
In other words, I am being forced to change my e-mail address.
I realize this does not sound like an earth-shattering event. At least one that does not require an anxiety attack followed up by a strong sedative. It happens to people all the time, right?
When I was in the corporate world, getting a new e-mail the few times I changed jobs was never a big deal. Export contacts from the old e-mail client, import them to the new one, then simply send an e-mail telling all said contacts that I have a new address. Ba-da-bing.
Sure, it’s all peaches and pralines when you don’t have to worry about the backend of setting up a new e-mail box. I am here to tell you — not so much when you do. This is the first time in my career that I don’t have a corporate IT department at my beck and call. Nope folks, I am the IT department. And that is more than a little scary.
This past week, I’ve felt like I needed a computer engineering degree to navigate all the ins and outs of what I thought would be the simple process of setting up a new e-mail address.
After all, I am a smart person – I have a master’s degree for Pete’s sake – but I only know what I absolutely have to know about technology. Admittedly, up to this point, that’s wasn’t a hella lot.
Sure, I built this website, but I used a super-easy drag-and-drop editor to do it. I’ve actually been thinking about an upgrade because this blog has outgrown its basic design, but I plan to hire someone who works on websites for a living when the time comes.
But I digress.
See, the Internet provider I’ve been using at my home for the past eight years, Insight, has been purchased by Time Warner. As of June 10, the e-mail address I have through Insight, which I have also been using as my primary personal e-mail account for the past eight years, goes bye-bye.
I found this out in a letter I received via snail mail last Wednesday. Since I have also been using my personal e-mail for my freelance writing and consulting business since September — it’s on my business cards and everything — I threw up in my mouth when I read this letter. I may have even hyperventilated a little when the wheels in my head started screeching about the work that was going to be involved in this unwelcome shift in my universe.
In case you were not aware, major change freaks me out. I am much better about accepting and adjusting to it than I used to be, but I still don’t like it. And I especially don’t like it when it is imposed upon me without my consent. Understandably, when I am the impetus for change in my life, I am much more likely to normalize to it.
Anyhoo, when it comes to major life changes of any kind, I need time to plan and prepare in order to make peace with it. So when I saw that June 10 deadline, I sprang into action.
Turns out, once I started investigating, I learned that my old e-mail won’t disappear into oblivion immediately. My breathing became less frantic at that point.
I discovered that I am being required to change my e-mail address to one with a Time Warner extension because the insightbb.com addresses will all be phased out completely by September 2014. Starting June 10, I can have my Insight address forwarded to the new Time Warner address, or another one of my choice.
I figure if I have to change my e-mail and let hundreds of people know about it, not to mention change the e-mail associated with EVERY SINGLE DAMN ONE OF MY ONLINE SUBSCRIPTIONS AND ACCOUNTS (sheesh), by God, I am going to do what I should have done when I launched my business and my website — use the domain name I own for this website, write-is-might.com.
Thanks to one of my web developer clients, I was aware of Google Apps for business, so I signed up right away. You basically employ the mail and calendar functions of gmail, which I love, but you use your own DNS (domain name server, for the uninitiated) instead of @gmail.com.
I wasn't too far into the process of setting up my account that my head began to hurt and my chest started to knot.
Oh. My. God.
Talk about technical difficulties. It took me three friggin’ days to get the account set up and fully functional. Google tech support was great, but I also had to deal with my own web hosting company, and that was where it got complicated.
Until three days ago, I did not know what a CName Alias or an MX Record was. I’m not so sure I completely understand them now, but I do know that they are (finally) working and pointing where they are supposed to point. It only took 10 e-mails and five phone calls to the various geek squads. Shite.
Before it was all resolved, I spent two sleepless nights in limbo, terrified that I was going to lose my e-mails, contacts, ALL future business and tons of files and folders because my computer was going to blow up when I erroneously hit the “red button,” or the HTML equivalent. (Irrational I know, but that’s how deeply this change has messed with me.)
Almost seven days later, the knot is my chest is finally starting to dissolve, and my serenity is on its way back to being restored now that I am certain one of my main communication channels is not only functional, but pretty freakin’ cool.
Out of necessity, I learned a lot about website technology through this process, which has helped me relax about it. The more knowledge I have about something, the more confident I am about its success.
By all rights, I should probably thank Time Warner for making me go to all this trouble. I don’t love Insight, and I doubt I will love TW either. So now that I am not tied to the company’s e-mail address anymore, I can change Internet companies the minute they piss me off the next time. (And they WILL piss me off, if history is any indication.)
Now that I am on the other side of that very dark technological tunnel, I can honestly say that I love Google Apps and how its mail and calendar sync with my iPhone and my Mac.
The only thing that still worries me about my changeover in the stability of my hosting company. But I can always move my domain name to another hosting company if I have any problems. (That sounded really smart, right? Like I know what I’m talking about? Ha!)
Sure, I went into this change kicking and screaming, but I can now see how it, and the process to get there, is going to benefit me in the long run.
Sometime I really hate being a grown up.
Contact at my new e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Amy Higgs
A former newspaper columnist, Amy takes her random, slice-of-life stories to the web. After nine years, she's still just saying.