This is the journey of my email-id name:
Back in 1998, at high school, one yahoo account was enough. I think it lapsed because i did not check my mail often enough.
Then in 2000, I realized that I needed 1 IIT-Kharagpur provided email id and 1 Aerospace Engineering (IIT-Kgp) provided email-id was essential. (Still wondering why aerospace department needs to have its own mail server)
2001: I realize that college mail ids reveals my online identity. Hence I created 1 rediffmail id & 1 hotmail account (Yes I am amongst the few living individuals of the 20th century who did not have hotmail/Aol as their first email account)
2003: I realized that college mail ids expire after graduation. Also having ‘cool’ and other attributes in the id name was unprofessional. Hence again created a yahoo account. Converted my yahoo account as my primary id for all correspondence and rediff account for all spam.
2004: Having a gmail account invite was a matter of prestige. I think gmail mail ids were sold at as high as $50 and I got 3 mail ids (without paying a penny). Today I think that was the perfect marketing strategy. It made me drop all other mail ids and proudly flash my multiple gmail ids (Wow! I was really geeky back then)
I also got a company email account. But this time I took learning from my college mail ids and never used it for personal correspondence.
2006: I closed most accounts and was left with 3:
1 account for private conversations only (friends & family)
2. For sign-up and giving to random acquaintances (spam filter and mailbox limits were a big issue even then)
3. office email id (for business conversations only)
2008: like the gmail rush, I rushed and created a mail id on enagar using Google Apps (What I discovered recently that free google apps service is discontinued) email@example.com is still my primary email address.
Today many applications (eg: Facebook, linkedin etc.) have created mail ids for me which are active. But I have configured forwarding in them to one of the 3 mail ids.
I had multiple email-addresses because of size issues and the fact that email technology was not mature at that time. However I still wonder why people have multiple email ids or online personality. 1 person = 1 physical identity = 1 online identity.