Careful, Your Digital Age Is Showing

Today I received an anniversary notice:

ebay anniversary greetingThat’s right, 12 years of shopping on eBay (and no, I do not plan on buying anything lizard related… apparently my hunt for a “talking lizard” per JavaGirl’s Christmas request has skewed eBay’s perception of me).  When I first shopped on eBay it was to buy hard-to-find Depression Era glassware — I marveled at the ability to find pieces to add to my collection.  I used to only find one or two pieces a year by shopping in antiques stores, but on eBay, I had to restrain myself not to blow my entire paycheck monthly to build out my collection!  How I adored receiving those brown boxes so carefully delivering my coveted pink glassware.  Now, knowing that eBay is always available, my purchases are fewer and my range of purchases can be from the odd to the very mundane, but I hadn’t realized just how long our “relationship” had been until receiving this notice.

Earlier this year I received a letter from LinkedIn, thanking me for being  one of their “early adopters” — as I am apparently one of their first million members and they are now celebrating the milestone of 100 million members.  After learning how to decode people’s numbers, I gleefully went through and checked up on some of my friends, and was amazed at who was amongst the first 50,000 and then pointed out to my high-tech husband that he joined two million members later than I did.  (Want to see how geeky your friends are?  Go to their profile and look at the url:  Whatever number listed there is what order they joined LinkedIn. 

I joined AOL July 1995 and I still use my account today.  Sure, I have Yahoo and Gmail accounts as well, but there is something to be said for an account you’ve had for 16 years years.  I’ve had that email account longer than any snail mail address in my adult life.

It’s interesting to me, this recent rash of celebrations from online companies.  I’ve been with my bank since 1994 and haven’t received a similar note, in fact, I mostly receive hassles from them.  Like when they cancelled my debit card while I was out of town because they thought I should have given them prior notice that I had left the state.  (I’ve been with them 17 years and they haven’t learned that I travel frequently.)  Stores I’ve shopped at since I’ve earned my own paycheck have never sent me a note like this.  Organizations I have belonged to longer than I have been married haven’t sent this kind of acknowledgement.

Perhaps it is because organizations who are digital in nature realize both how “new” they were and how fickle customers can be that they seem to be showing so much appreciation lately.  On the one hand, it reminds me I’m getting a bit older; on the other, it’s a nice reminder that it didn’t take long to get onboard and there is a certain sense of satisfaction of being a digital vet while raising “digital natives.”  And to the bricks and mortar companies still in my life — maybe the old dogs could learn a few (not-so) new tricks… of customer appreciation.

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  1. Interesting. My husband found eBay when he was home recovering from a major surgery and evidently needed a new hobby. He confirmed that he gets anniversary notices from eBay too.

    At least we give our rising Sustainers a rosebud at the annual meeting, huh? Thanks for the food for thought.