Now that Obama has won and the campaigning is over, I trust that I won’t be hearing from Move On Dot Org any more. The question is what about the other thousands of unwanted e-mails that greet me every time I sit down to check on things that I choose to check out. It’s not the spam that I have been able to keep pretty much at bay, thanks to filters and fire walls. It’s the singing bunnies, the recipes, the warnings, the advertisements, the IQ tests, the blessings, and most of all, the jokes.
Some of the jokes are terrific but most of them are not.
Most involve some photos or some kind of art work and that presents a huge problem with us. Our computer is old and creaky and, when confronted with a major amount of information to impart, putts along at a remarkably slow pace. If there is a sound track involved, forget about it. Our machine just goes into slow and slower until I reach the point that I think, “Nothing is worth me sitting here for an hour to find out what it is. Of course, unless it’s my grandchildren doing something brilliant in Kansas.
I turn it on each morning, giving it plenty of time to stretch and beep and slowly blink its way to daylight. If it informs me that I have more than seven messages waiting to be read, I leave it on and watch CNN for half an hour. Often that’s not enough and I enjoy a second cup of tea while waiting for more messages to work their way into play. There was a time when the message that there is new mail would be a bit of a thrill. I first encountered this miracle of communication many years ago when visiting a brother in Alaska. He showed me how to send a message to my son in New York and it was a thrill beyond belief that first time. That was 10 years ago.
The big problem is that we have dial-up and that means forever. And while our machine is spewing out stuff that we have absolutely no interest in, we can’t use the phone and no one can call us. We’re cut off from the world due to inadequate high technology.
When I’m ready, I see certain names that I’m tempted to send to “delete land” without even viewing. These people have put our e-mail address in to enormous piles of address that, for the most part, are for people I’ve never heard of.
A good percent of them carry the message, “This is a really good one.” It seldom is.
Some urge me to send their jokes-warnings-recipes-whatever to five or 10 of my friends.
The big problem is that when we happen upon something that is truly funny, or inspiring or informative or beautiful, we want to send it along to one of those people that we’ve asked not to send us stuff any more. We think, “This is a really good one.”