By filling up inboxes, spam advertisers annoy


I think that I am typical in the way that when I am procrastinating from studying and/or writing an academic paper, I revert to checking my e-mail. It is, after all, far easier to type in my password to my Juno account than it is to read about Ottoman pashas and their respective territories.

So a few times a day, I open my inbox and get kind of happy when I see that I have five new messages. Being an idealist of sorts, I automatically assume that five people regard me highly enough to send me e-mail messages fraught with admiration, hatred, wit, drama, or any combination of those. I am invariably let down, however, to see that instead of being from five individuals, these messages were instead sent by some mindless, soulless establishment offering up printer ink, home loans, quick-fix diets, or of course, methods of enhancing one’s, eh, male prowess.

Damn it, I think. SPAM! And I’m not talking about that salty canned meat of questionable origin. I am talking about one of the newest methods that advertisers have contrived to infinitely annoy me.

And I’m pretty sure that is the point of advertising. Who are we kidding? Advertisers know they are impinging on our time. They also know that ultimately, they are asking us to give them our money, although they do it in ever-more oblique and lizard-like ways. The advertiser’s message to you the prospective consumer, can be summed up as follows: “I know you want to watch this TV show/movie or read only e-mail sent to you personally, and I know the last thing you want to do is watch this ad for laundry detergent/tampons/SUVs or see our junk mail in your inbox. But I don’t care. You don’t have a choice now, do you? Now please, buy this crap. We need your money too, you know. Give us your money. Do it. Now.”

Advertisers do not mind the fact that they are annoying. In fact, I have a feeling some of them relish it. But on the other hand, there would be no advertisers if people didn’t actually go out and buy the junk they sell. So my conclusion is, spammers exist and continue to proliferate for one reason. People must actually buy the crap they hawk by way of unsolicited and unwelcome e-mail messages. Yes, there must be folks out there who actually open their e-mail accounts and say, “Wow, I really hate going to Office Max. I think I DO need to buy my printer ink from this anonymous online vendor.” Or even more frightening, “Wow, this enhancer must really work because look, there’s a doctor in the ad!”

So if you purchase anything at all from spammers, first of all, I’m curious about something. How many times have you been ripped off? Second of all, I implore you, stop now. Please, if you need a home loan, even the troubled Fannie Mae is probably more ethical and trustworthy than Home Loans Now! (.com). Also, there is probably no solution for physical male shortcomings, short of surgery. Just like I can’t make my nose bigger by buying a nose pump from Nose Enhancement Online.

So don’t buy anything from spammers. They are here to torture us all.