Let's Talk About Spam
Have you found that when you’re uptight about something, tired, hungry and stressed, that you tend, ever so slightly, to overreact sometimes? I received a nasty e mail the other day accusing me of spamming this person (who had subscribed / opted in to my ezine, by the way). Obviously, he was having a bad day and had lost perspective on spam. I sent him a note which I thought I’d share with you, just so we can maintain perspective in this busy day and age.
First of all, I receive over 360 spam e mails a day. That’s the price one pays for a strong Internet presence, I guess. I don’t use a spam filter as it has cost me money in the past by blocking important e mails. (Spam filters have no brains, you see; they’re simply robots.) Here’s the thing – it takes me a total of 12 minutes to delete the spam, but I save hours every day using the Internet and e mail. TWELVE MINUTES. Let’s see that in perspective. How long do you wait for your food in a restaurant? How much time do you spend commuting? I don’t spend hours attacking the spammers - I simply hit “Delete” and move on.
Also, there are different types of spam – helpful, uplifting information and valuable offers on the one hand, and sleazy porn and scammers on the other. Either way, it takes two seconds to delete. So, when one looks at the real time usage compared to the benefits, why do people react so violently to what they perceive as spam? Why the threats and why take so much MORE time to write to the “spammer”, instead of taking two seconds to delete the e mail? Is there perhaps something else going on here?
There’s the rub! The REAL reason, I suspect, why people get so angry at certain “spam” e mails, is that their buttons are being pushed. Something in that e mail reminds them about something about themselves that they’re not happy about. They look in the mirror, don’t like what they see, and smash the mirror. “You can break the scales, but you’ll still be fat.” They shoot the messenger when the message is a little too close to the truth. Instead of standing back and asking themselves, “Why am I reacting so violently? Is there a message here for me? What can I learn from this?” they attack. Anger often comes from fear. Perhaps we should start reading some of those really irritating e-mails.
There’s a radio station here that spouts the worst kind of socialism, anti-establishment collectivism and everything that is directly opposed to my philosophy. And I LOVE listening to it. I learn so much. It gives me perspective, corrects some of my assumptions and strengthens others. There are some very smart people on that show – much smarter than me! Perhaps we should be less threatened and more open minded about spam and look at the upside of this amazing, time-saving thing called e-mail.