Once upon a time, a not so very long time ago, an amazing concept called email was invented. The wonder of it all was that this technological form of communication made it possible for people to connect with each other almost instantaneously. With that, the U.S. Postal Service was finally relieved of its duties and its all too familiar ability to delay our letters from reaching the intended party or to lose them completely. All was right with the world.
In those early, carefree days of electronic long-form messaging (that were too quickly replaced by abbreviated texts, horrible emoticons and overused emojis), our learning curve consisted mostly of realizing that “tone” was often misinterpreted as we furiously typed back and forth. The art of letting our feelings be known and properly conveyed faced a slow and sometimes embarrassing demise. But that’s so 15 years ago. If you want to know how anybody feels about anything today, simply go to Facebook ad get an earful of some of the most bizarre, random ranting that covers a myriad of subjects. If you want the more expeditious route and don’t have time to read the War and Peace version of someone’s opinion, turn to Twitter.
Email has now become, what’s the word I’m looking for? Ah yes, a burden. Every time I open up one of my four inboxes, I brace myself for the workload ahead. The amount of crap that still manages to find its way into my life is overwhelming. It’s the equivalent of having to face 30 or so Yellow Pages on my doorstep every single day, morning, noon and night. And that’s only at one address.
To think it was a decade ago that I once innocently subscribed to sites thinking that I would receive an occasional greeting or update. Nothing prepared me for the avalanche of advertising that has stalked me since. There’s no such thing as an exclusive offer anymore. We are barraged with messages that are all thinly veiled commandments that implore us to buy or at the very least, “like” whatever is sent so it moves up the proverbial food chain, gets traction and therefore “trends.”
I spent the better part of one afternoon this week unsubscribing myself from company sites I’m sure I never visited or am no longer interested in. I’m not even interested in checking my email anymore. If I had the courage, I would unsubscribe myself from email altogether.
My only fear is that physical mail from 2001 forward would finally arrive at my home address and I can’t unsubscribe from that.