What does your email say about you?

Update: If you’re coming to this post from Google, this quiz is no longer available. If you’d like to take a similar one, try this one.
Has it really been eleven days since my last post? I knew it had been a while but I didn’t realise it had been as long as that! I feel funny when I haven’t posted or commented for a while, like I’m neglecting everyone. I hate that. I’ve had other things on my mind this last fortnight, though. I haven’t been feeling well and I’ve been awake now for 56 hours straight! I’m looking forward to catching up with everyone over the weekend… and hopefully some sleep too.

I realised earlier that I’ve just had an anniversary. It was May 1998 that I came online for the first time! Yeah, I know, most people have been online a lot longer than 10 years but it was a big deal to me. My friends were online and I’d used it a bit at school but it was the first time I’d experienced the net properly; it was a whole new world. I remember we used to buy these $30 prepaid cards that lasted for 25 hours; I used to write down exactly how long I’d been online so I wouldn’t go over the limit. These days I’m on that long in a week!

One thing I still remember is my first email address, even though it’s now long defunct: masta1@bigpond.com. Awful, isn’t it? I wasn’t ready when we were setting up the account, so I just said the first thing that popped into my head and that was masta1. I cringe whenever I think about it now. I had that address for three years and my first stories were published with it… it’s not exactly the address you’d associate with a writer, is it?

It’s funny seeing how far I’ve come since then. I’ve been through another eight addresses, started five websites, several blogs… I’ve even helped friends set up sites and I’ve enjoyed helping people in the WP forums. Not bad seeing I had no idea what I was doing when I first came online! 🙂 More importantly I’ve felt like I’ve become part of a larger community and that’s something I hadn’t felt before… the world really is much smaller now.

And yet, somehow, after all these years, that damn address still says more about me than anything else! No matter how many posts I write, how many photos I put up or profiles I fill out, nothing tells you more about me than masta1. At the least it says I’m a bit of a geek; at the most that I take myself too seriously. I really wish I’d chosen something different now. Email addresses are so important, particularly for first impressions; somehow I doubt masta1 gave people the right idea! 😉

I know I’m being silly but there is something to it. Have you ever stopped to think about what your email says about you? Obviously our writing style says a lot but even our addresses can reveal more than we thought. Researchers in Germany recently found that the email addresses we choose often reveal traits like openness, conscientiousness and narcissism without our even realising it. Addresses using punctuation, numbers and fake names proved much more revealing than others, which makes sense. You’re not going to see many adults using sweetthing72@wherever.com, are you?

I found it interesting as I’ve always thought that email says a lot about us. Every way we communicate reveals something about our personality and writing is particularly revealing. A lot of people see email (and comments and forums) as a form of communication that allows them to say things they wouldn’t normally say; they’re much harsher and I’ve always thought that reveals more about the real “them” than they’d ever let us see. The style we use in an email says a lot about us too. Not just the length but whether we write with warmth or intellect, what feeling we convey in the email; that reflects our personality just as much as the words themselves.

I’m not sure if it’s the same for you but I’ve always felt like my online personality is quite like how I am in person; I have a sense of humour but I’m thoughtful and careful with what I say. I’m never happy unless I get the tone of what I’m writing just right because I usually have a lot to say! I came across this quiz earlier and it seems to agree with me. The questions were fun and it’s quite accurate for a simple quiz. I wonder what your email says about you? Do you think you represent yourself online the same way you do off?

Anyway, I’ve just been thinking about this lately. The time’s gone so quickly and it’s funny looking back, seeing how much has changed. I can’t imagine life without the Internet now; it’s helped my writing enormously and I’ve made so many friends. I think I was lucky that I didn’t get online earlier; I can still remember how much I loved experiencing it all for the first time and if I’d grown up with the net then it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as special. I might have taken it for granted and I’d have missed out on so much.

Now all I’m missing out on is sleep! Oh well, guess I’ll sleep when I’m dead. 😉

Edit: Now I know I definitely need to sleep! Sulz just reminded me that you need to sign in to Tickle before you can see your results. D’oh! I completely forgot; I meant to post the link to another quiz too, in case you don’t have an account. You can find that one here. I’m going to get some shuteye now. 🙂

Dreams

Fields

Do you ever have strange dreams? The kind that seem so real when you’re asleep but when you wake up, they make no sense? I’ve had a few; being chased by wild animals, finding myself in a different body…. they can be quite scary sometimes.

The strangest dream I’ve had involved clowns. I’ve never liked clowns. When I was a child I used to think they were evil… something about the way they could all fit into one car really freaked me out. In my dream I was standing in a field surrounded by clowns. There were dozens of them all moving in sync; they’d take several steps, stop and harvest the corn, then move on. They’d do it again and again, not knowing I was there. It was all so eerie, so quiet…

When I woke up I remember lying there, trying to work out what I’d seen. But it made no sense! Were the clowns supposed to be some metaphor for illegal immigrants? For cloning and genetically modified foods? I still don’t know now but in the end something about the dream stayed with me and a couple of months later I turned it into a story. I took the clowns and the fields and created verandis, a drug which gave people a high of fear; in small doses it was a cheap thrill, but in high doses it proved effective for torture. The Drug of Fear was one of the first stories I had published and it’s funny to think that without that dream, I’d never have written it.

I had an experience earlier this week which made me think of the clown dream again. I was getting the bus home and listening to some music. Usually I like to watch what’s going on around me, but this time I was staring out the window. There was a seagull flying overhead and one of its wings was bent; I watched it for about a minute, wondering if it was broken, how it might have happened. When I finally looked away I caught the gaze of a girl a few seats in front of me.

She was watching me, smiling slightly, and she didn’t look away like most people do when they’re caught staring. She just smiled again and the funny thing was, I knew what she meant. She wasn’t smiling at me, but she knew what I was doing; it was like we were the only two people on the bus who had noticed the seagull. It was a moment we shared and without words, it seemed special. We got off at the same stop and neither of us said anything, but it was a nice feeling, like for a moment we’d been linked in a dream…

But then in a way it was a dream, a daydream. While I was watching the seagull I wasn’t aware of anything else… I was somewhere else, far away. The strange thing is that usually I don’t dream when I sleep, or if I do I don’t remember them. But I daydream quite often during the day, and since I’ve been having trouble sleeping I’ve actually been dreaming more than I was before. Whether that’s a good thing or not I don’t know – maybe it means I’m too active and carrying my thoughts into my sleep.

Anyway, I just thought it was interesting. Dreams fascinate me; we know so little about them, but they’re just one example of how amazing the human body and mind can be… even if sometimes your dreams are of fields of clowns. 😉

Do You Get Enough Sleep?

Sleep Quiz

Do you remember the scene in Falling Down where Michael Douglas enters the fast food restaurant? He starts to order but the manager refuses to serve him breakfast because he’s two minutes too late. So he snaps, pulls out a gun and starts shooting into the ceiling. That’s what I’ve been feeling like for the last few days.

Well, maybe it’s not that bad, but it’s not far off. I can’t sleep and it’s driving me nuts. I’m a night owl anyway but the last two weeks I’ve been getting 2 hours sleep a night. I’m not tired, not thinking, not doing anything… I just can’t sleep. And I’m probably not much fun to be around either.

My brain’s been too zapped to think of any meaningful posts lately, so I thought I’d post this quiz instead. It seemed like a good match. I’m hoping it’s right and it’s just a “sometimes” thing… if it’s insomnia I’m going to go crazy.

What about you? Do you get enough sleep? Any tips? I’ll take anything I can get. 😉