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Spam—For Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Years ago, when we first got computers, wasn’t it fun to exchange e-mail messages? It was similar to the way we once en­joyed the use of the telephone? There was also a time when you were you and no-one could change that, but now out-to-getcha groups have added identity theft!

The invasion of our privacy has gone beyond belief! Answering the telephone, expecting to have a conversation with a friend you’d hear, instead, a message from a stranger declaring that you need a new roof, you don’t have enough insurance, or you should take advantage of a fantastic offer. Very unpleasant.

After years of po­litely listening and saying “No, thank you” you finally learned how to hang up or change your telephone so that you’d know when you were being invaded.

The ease and convenience of using the computer for sending and receiving e-mail messages also lasted for a while, until someone discovered a new wrinkle. It didn’t take long—the mar­keting mail began coming.

Now e-mail boxes are filled with so many offers that it’s to the point where you can’t find the messages from friends until you’ve deleted all other e-mails.

Last night, when I went online to read my e-mail, I learned what was meant by being ‘spammed.’ There were 185 messages to be dealt with and deleted. Of those, there were only six messages from people I knew. I asked for help from the e-mail provider and their best suggestion was that I change my e-mail address. Like my name, address, and telephone number, it has become a part of my identity and I’d rather not change it. I’d like to follow a different plan.

Instead of just deleting all the e-mail, I spent hours going to the addresses of the senders and doing some unsubscribing. Time will tell if this works. Many un­related messages seemed to come from the same sources. I’ve heard it said that after heavy bombardment, sender’s addresses are changed and they start all over again with new names.

Now, days later, I received another deluge of e-mail. So—I guess my work is cut out for me.

Kitty Maiden is a staff writer for Seniors Today.