The Disaster That Is Gmail

Once upon a time, the makers of the most ubiquitous search engine in the world set out to create the most ubiquitous e-mail system in the world.

They made it light and simple and elegant. And they introduced a completely new concept to e-mail: Rather than e-mail being individual, disembodied messages, e-mail is actually a conversation and should be constructed as such.

This is how Gmail worked initially, and it was awesome. I was sold at the time by Gmail’s ability to handle e-mails as conversations, but I also enjoyed how simple and elegant it was and how easy and efficient that made navigation.

Why is it that a company creates such a simple, wonderful tool and then eventually loads it up with clutter that eventually makes it impossible to use?

That time has come with Gmail, and, by way of digression, Twitter as well. Gmail these days is next to impossible to use. My window is cluttered with chat buddies, a feature that I never configured and buddies I never added, and commands are now run by icons that are about as intuitive as trying to read a bowl of soup.

Gmail was once a breath of fresh air, such a grand new service that it not only improved e-mail, it actually elevated it. It has recently become a bucket of mush.

This is why my e-mail is moving to a new service. I’ll let ya know if you need to know.

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