Monday, December 19, 2005

Web Sites Let Users Send E-Mail to Future

In the year 2009, on the 25th of April, a man named Greg is supposed to get an e-mail. The e-mail will remind Greg that he is his best friend and worst enemy, that he once dated a woman named Michelle, and that he planned to major in computer science.

The e-mail was sent by none other than Greg himself -- through a Web site called

The site is one of a handful that let people send e-mails to themselves and others years in the future. They are technology's answer to time capsules, trading on people's sense of curiosity, accountability and nostalgia.

"Messages into the future is something that people have always sought to do," said Paul Saffo, director of the Institute for the Future. "In a way, it's a statement of optimism." Matt Sly, 29, came up with the concept for about four years ago.

He was inspired one day after recalling how during his education he had been given assignments to write letters to himself.



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