Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Invisible Man

Or perhaps The Inaudible Man?  Or The Irrelevant Man!

I had been starting to worry that something was amiss with my e-mail accounts. Or perhaps (ooh, paranoia!) that I had become the victim of some targeted blocking/interception efforts by the Chinese security services.

But it's probably just a case of falling off people's mental radar when you are no longer a regular physical presence in their lives. I have hardly received a single e-mail from anyone I know in China since I left for England three weeks ago. 

Now, the falling off of spontaneous personal communication, though disappointing, I can understand. People obviously don't see the point in inviting me to parties or sharing gossip when I'm no longer on the scene. Ordinarily, though, I get a fairly continuous dribble of non-personal, 'automatic' correspondence: mass-mailing jokes, links to interesting news items, or notices about job vacancies (from friends, former employers, recruiters, or various networking forums I've been involved with). But in the last three weeks, NOTHING. A lot of these people don't know I'm gone; so, what's up??

And people aren't replying promptly - if at all - when I send e-mails to them, either.

With some of them, I know there's a 'problem': The Man In Black has become one of those people so pathetically addicted to Twitter that he is scarcely aware of any other medium of communication these days; The Choirboy is finding himself from time to time a bit snowed under by the unfamiliar demands of a proper job; and so on.

But, really.... almost no-one is sending me e-mail of their own volition any more, or replying to e-mails that I send to them. What gives?

A further disturbing detail has come to light over the next couple of days: when I Cc or BCc to myself, the copy doesn't go through. Is this just Yahoo Mail being glitchy for a while, or something more sinister??

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