Do you have “Spamophobia”? You can’t tell by checking your temperature or your blood pressure, only by checking your attitude can you know for sure. During the past 12 years I’ve been on the internet it has always amazed and bewildered me the attitude our culture has on a little thing called “spam”. The range of emotions this little thing evokes in us are varied; going from red-faced, blood pressure rising anger to opt-ing out disappointment and everywhere
So what is spam and why is it hated so much? Webster’s dictionary says: it’s unsolicited commercial email sent to a large number of addresses. Encyclopedia Britannica says: it’s unsolicited commercial electronic messages, email being the most common means of transmitting spam, but blogs, social networking sites, newsgroups, and cell phones are also being used. However our culture seems to have an even broader definition of spam: ” it is any kind of advertising we don’t like appearing anywhere on the internet! “, so as you can see anything you don’t like can be spam… it’s all up to the beholder. Britannica even goes on to say spam is viewed with widespread disdain – imagine that 🙂 Ok it’s hated but why? I can honestly say I don’t know why; when we tolerate other things in our daily lives that wastes more of our time, cost us more money, causes us more physical effort to avoid and we view these things as minor nuisances. I’m talking about TV commercials, postal junk mail, movie trailers before the feature, audio commercials on the phone while you wait to speak with the person you called.
Aren’t these all unsolicited and unwanted? Of course they are! Then these nuisances would be spam too wouldn’t they? Why then don’t we hate these as much as the spam we see on the internet? Again I don’t know, do you?
Have you ever been watching a movie or TV show and it stops for a “pop-up”? (commercial that is, not browser window) After you see the commercial for Clarol shampoo do you jump up from your chair ranting and raving – “I’ve just been spammed!?” “Who’s the sender? … Ah it’s Johnson and Johnson I’m going to report them to the FTC!” How about when the mail carrier hands you postal junk mail – do you yell at him/her saying: “You just delivered spam to me! who’s your boss? – I’m going to report you… Let me see, who is the sender? I’m going to report them also!” No, you’re not angry, you just quietly proceed to the kitchen where you fill up your trashcan with the junk mail costing you time and money.
Tell me – when you receive spam on the internet, whether in the form of email or pop-ups…what horrible painstaking time and money costs do you go through to get rid of it? Isn’t it the effortlessly speedy click of your mouse that makes it all go away in a nano-second?
Hopefully I’ve given you some fresh perspective about spam, or at least pause to think about it. We don’t need to demonize it and view it with so much hatred. Let’s just look at it for what it is – Advertising; whether solicited or unsolicited it’s just advertising the same as the traditional forms you have always tolerated all your life with no second thought. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating spamming; it is against the law and we must all obey the law no matter what we think of it. I only ask that you be fair in how you look at it.
Now back to my original question: Do you have Spamophobia? If you think all advertising you don’t like is spam and just thinking about it upsets you then yes you have this disease. The good news is we can all control how we think and feel about anything. Don’t be a “Spamophobe”
– Dave Puckett
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