What your email address says about you and your business.

For some, email is a means to an end. For others, it’s their lifeline for taking care of business. So when you sign up for an email address, what does it say about you? Most people don’t seem to read into this but here’s the harsh truth: Whether you know it or not, some people judge you the moment they see what comes after the “@” in your messages.

At the risk of flirting with internet snobbery, here is a look at the place where ISPs and personalities meet.

@gmail: If you’re using a gmail account this states that you are up-to-date with technology and have decided to stick with the big boys. When technology changes you know that Google will be right there with you, if not at the forefront. It’s free and with Google chat, maps, calendar, drive, translator, voice and a great low rate for extra cloud space, you’ve got all the tools you’ll need in one spot. Some people don’t like the threaded email feature but once you figure out how it works you’ll realize it makes sense to have a single conversation tied together. Especially when you search through your archives to find that one conversation you need again. You’re most likely a Millennial (ages 18–34)/ Very cool Generation Xer (35–49)

@yahoo: If you’re using a gmail account this states you are somehow tied into an exterior Yahoo product that will only work if you have a yahoo email account. Somewhat dated but some people like the underdog role. Their interface is cluttered with pop up and side ads and it’s very confusing to use it for business purposes. Yahoo has a great web hosting package and software to boot but it requires a yahoo email account to access them. Most people have Yahoo accounts, which they only use as an address to provide on sites they expect to flood them with spam. You’re most likely a Generation Xer (35–49)

@mac/@icloud: Die hard, die hard, and one more time for my friends in the back row, die hard. You’re a Mac’er for life. Everything is right with the world when you’re using an Apple product. You are not part of the stuffy corporate structure. You kick back with your Vans and your Mavi’s and glide through your work with ease and efficiency. All your gadgets are synced. If you download a song (legally) on your cell, it’s waiting for you on your laptop/desktop. Same goes for any documents you work with. Computer viruses you say? What’s a virus? Virtually nonexistent in your luxurious world. Oh look, there goes another unicorn. Aren’t they so pretty? You are an artist, a musician, a producer, a designer or an editor. Stay thirsty my friends. You’re most likely a Millennial (ages 18–34)/ Very cool Generation Xer (35–49)

@hotmail: It was founded in 1996 as Hotmail and was acquired by Microsoft in 1997 for an estimated $400 million and launched as MSN Hotmail, later rebranded to Windows Live Hotmail. Now a days there’s nothing hot about Hotmail. The word itself is pretentious. You probably work too much or completely shut down when the word technology is uttered, or you too are pretentious. Hotmail is the ‘Walking Dead’ of email addresses. It belongs in the email address graveyard with the likes of: Excite.com, Lycos.com, usa.net, Netscape.net, Juno.com and Netzero.com. Demons be gone! You’re most definitely a Baby Boomer (50+)/ Very fuddy duddy Generation Xer (35–49)

@outlook/@live: Ah Microsoft. You are the horse before the car was introduced. You took us out of the dark ages long ago and only lead in two categories today — WORD and EXCEL. Your browser is a nightmare, your operating system, no matter which one you pick, is like roller-skating with one wheel missing. If you’re using an outlook/live email address, you were probably the king of your office back in the day. Remember those days when MS-DOS and floppy disks were all the rage? My how we laughed. Once again, if you’re using this format you’re most likely tied into an external product that will only work if you use their dreaded email service. Bummer. You’re most definitely a Baby Boomer (50+)/ Very fuddy duddy Generation Xer (35–49))

@comcast/@verizon: Okay. You are getting very sleepy, only when I snap my finger will you awake. For those of you that don’t know, you need to know. Using an email address from any cable or cell phone provider is not a good idea at all. Not because there are no real beneficial extensions offered but because if you ever decide to change providers, guess what? You lose all your emails and contacts. Whoosh, just like that — gonzo! Don’t do it. You’re most definitely a Baby Boomer (50+)

@aol: Nostalgic: adjective — experiencing or exhibiting nostalgia, a sentimental or wistful yearning for the happiness felt in a former place, time, or situation.You’ve probably had the same e-mail address since 1999. You also might be in your sixties. If you send an e-mail from an aol account, the recipient is likely to expect it to be spam, a forward of some thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory or pictures of kittens. I get the sense that people with aol addresses have just been too lazy to upgrade or are just stuck in a time warp. I always do a double take when I see them because I can’t believe it’s still in use. It’s like seeing someone walking around wearing a Member’s Only jacket. Get off my lawn you darn whipper snappers! You’re most definitely a Baby Boomer (50+)

@owndomain: Finally the last of the bunch. You’ve decided to take no allegiance to any established Fortune 500 company’s free email services. You have a good chance of being skilled and capable around technology. You’re telling the word that this is my email address, I own it and no one else outside of my company can use it. You mean business damn it. But behind the scenes we all know that you’re tied into your web hosting service who offers domain names and email addresses and are paying extra money for it. Sorry, it doesn’t mean you’re a force to be reckoned with. It just means you have extra scratch to play with. Don’t get me wrong, having your business name be the leader is a plus because the personal names before it will always change. Kudo’s for having extra scratch. You’re most likely a Generation Xer (35–49)

One more final note: If someone tells you’re their email address is www.clueless@blank.com please, don’t let this person touch a computer ever again.