The Terror of Disconnection

In General, Musings on June 17, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Today I woke up to a message telling me my gmail account had been temporarily suspended. I immediately felt bad and shameful, like when my French teacher in 5th grade caught me talking, but only because that cute guy I had a crush on had shot rubberbands at my head and I was telling him to quit it. But the thing is: I didn’t knowingly do anything wrong. In fact, it might be a spam related issue that has “violated” gmail’s terms and conditions. Either way, following directions to re-activate my account led to an error message telling me “that service is not available at this time.” They are, of course very sorry.

Not as sorry as I am. Email is my primary method of communication with editors, my agent, my clients, my students, not to mention my friends–who at least have other ways to get in touch with me. Without this direct line, I am missing out on possibly crucial information that affects my livelihood.

Which begs the question: Don’t I have the right to those emails, EVEN if I have supposedly “violated” unknowingly some agreement? Shouldn’t there be a way that I can access information directed at me? You’d think so. But clearly no.

And worse, it scares me to realize how completely dependent I am upon a company, its servers and policies, that can, for no reason, willy-nilly, put up a huge road-block between me and the people I need to be in touch with. It’s a scary feeling, even though I’m sure it will be resolved. It makes me think (yes, I know this is a dramatic analogy) of people arrested in foreign countries for minor infractions and then jailed without any potential release date in sight.

Ultimately, it makes me question whether being so dependent upon this kind of technology is a good thing, and I can’t come up with a resounding yes.

And if anyone knows how to get around this, please tell me by posting a comment here.

  1. I completely understand that helpless feeling. I question it every day. Too often I have found myself at the mercy of technology, only to be betrayed by the faith I have put into it.

    I hope you can get this resolved. I came upon this link. Maybe it will help:

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