This morning a weird thing happened as I opened my Gmail. Prominent on a yellow band at the top of this page was this terrifying message:
You are almost out of space for your Gmail account. Once you have run out of space, you will not be able to send or receive any emails until you delete some items. You can view our tips on reducing your email storage or purchase additional storage.
It made me almost jump out of my skin. Can this be? I scrolled down, and sure enough, my account is, it says, 94% full, and I am apparently Using 7212 MB of (my) 7616 MB.
I coughed. I spluttered. Apocalyptic visions danced before my eyes. A world without Gmail? How do I exist in such a world? Never mind that I've been using Gmail only since the beginning of 2005 or so (Holy Shit! It has been that long?), and I did manage to exist prior to 2005, too. It would mean that I'd have to go back to using Yahoo mail, or even Hotmail [GASP!!] actively!
Oh the horrors! Oh the tragedy!
[Of course, the wise-arses amongst you would snidely remind me that I can always pay for extra storage. Yeah. I'll do that when hell freezes over and pigs start flying. On their own. Aircrafts or Helium-filled balloons don't count. As you can guess, I am po. And cheap.]
But this was not to be! Honestly. Google always made me feel with its promotions and wordings that my Inbox size would be limitless, my mail account space, boundless. Indeed, once in a while, when I clear my deleted mails from the 'Bin', it applauds; the emptied Bin says, "No conversations in the Bin. Who needs to delete when you have so much storage?!"
I am not kidding. That has been the standard Google-spiel for their Gmail product all along. In fact, on April 1, 2005, the first anniversary of Gmail, Google announced the increase of their mail storage quota, stating that Google would "keep giving people more space forever", thereby creating the illusion of a bottomless Inbox. And judging from the results of a Google Search about the storage-quota message, a LOT of people around the world fell for that hooey. Well-played, Google, damn you! Well-played!
Ah, well. It's time for deleting those old messages with the adorabilia, in other words, the Cat and Dog and Baby photos, as well as those funny and amazing video clips sent by my friends and frenemies. Yes, you know who you are, making me fill up my Gmail storage quota!
P.S. For all us mortals, an old article in LifeHacker had some good tips for keeping the size of the Gmail accounts in check. But, of course, who follows those, right?