Do Not Email Pictures

This is a big enough problem that I like to repeat it from time to time … but this time, I’d like to use a road/traffic metaphor to explain why YOU SHOULD NOT SEND PICTURES OR VIDEOS VIA EMAIL.

In this road/traffic metaphor for explaining email:

1KB- 10KB = “cyclist” = short email
10KB- 500KB = “car” = regular email, possibly with a small document attached
500KB- 5000KB = “truck” = large email, possibly with one high-res picture attached
5000KB-29000KB = “truck hauling a full-sized house” = huge email, with multiple high-res pictures or a low-res video or slide-show

Road/traffic metaphor for explaining email issues:

  • Regular emails range in size from less than 1KB (cyclists) to hundreds of KB (cars).
  • Regular emails with a document or picture attached can be hundreds of KB (cars) to a few MB (trucks).
  • Now we get to those emails with HUGE attachments: videos and collections of high-res pictures. They can range in size from 5MB to 29MB … several times larger than “trucks”, so let’s refer to them as “trucking a full-sized house down the road”. I think you can imagine how much traffic disruption that can cause.
  • Note: The reason huge emails aren’t larger than 29MB is that they simply won’t fit down the “road” … currently email servers won’t let an email through that is 30MB or larger.
  • Any given email needs to pass through multiple email servers, and their size maximums can vary.
  • So we have many people driving full-sized houses through our streets, not knowing how large their vehicle is, clogging traffic, and not knowing if they’re even going to fit through the next tunnel. (!)
  • On top of that, each vehicle (email) self-duplicates … so there’s a copy left in the sender’s storage yard, and there’s a copy that gets parked in each receiver’s storage yard … clogging up storage yards all over the world. (!!)
  • And on top of that, there is more “junk mail” traffic than “legitimate mail” traffic on the roads. (!!!)

Does this illustrate my point?

So, PLEASE … be conscious of the size of emails you are sending, be considerate of all the congestion you are causing by sending large emails, and spend the time to learn how to send large files WITHOUT attaching them to emails. That will be the topic of my next blog.