Spam Magnet

By Diane DeVaughn Stokes

The world of technology is simply amazing isn’t it? And even though in many ways it has helped to make our lives easier, it has also bogged us down quite a bit! I wish I understood it better. Just last month I simply researched a vacation in Umbria for 2016, and the next thing I know I was getting tons of emails about villas, tour companies and attractions without asking for any of it.

Ten years ago, we went to Ireland, and I am still getting “green” deals from the land of my maternal grandparents. Last year I looked into river cruises online, and even without giving my address to any company I have started getting massive amounts of literature in the mail and online. Yikes, how did they get my home address? Kind of spooky, don’t you think? I suppose Google Earth showed them exactly where I live, and they zoomed in on my house close enough to see me shaving my legs in the shower!

Nevertheless, the research and comparison of vacation prices and packages online seems to make it all worthwhile. For our twenty-fifth anniversary we wanted to go scuba diving in Moorea and Bora Bora with one of those little romantic huts over the water, and even though we are AAA members and use them whenever we can, Costco’s travel department beat everyone’s prices on the same exact package by almost $1500, and we learned about it online. Who knew? And it turned out to be a dream vacation dining with Eagle Rays, gorgeous fish, dolphins and friendly sharks. To top it off, we snorkeled for thirty minutes with a mother and baby whale. That trip was six years ago, and I’m still getting emails from French Polynesia.

What I don’t understand is why I keep getting other ridiculous clutter: dog food ads and coupons, yet I own two cats. I continuously receive info on effective speaking seminars. Not to sound cocky, but as a talk show host on radio and TV for forty-two years, I could teach the course! How could the happiest married person in America (me) receive constant invitations to a Latin Singles web site? Though I studied Latin for four years in high school, I am not Latin and surely not single. Interestingly, I recently started getting emails from a Russian dating site too. Retirement seminars are in hot pursuit of me, both by snail mail and email. If I attended every single one of those that contact me, I would never have to cook another lunch or dinner meal again. And I should not be surprised, since I am over fifty, to be getting Viagra notices, but I would have thought they would send them only to men! The same day I got the Viagra ad, I also got an email from a nursing bra site. I guess I should take that as a compliment!

I totally understand why I get vacation literature of all types in my computer mailbox, and enjoy the suggestions even if it’s a place I have already been in case I wish to return, but have no understanding of how I got on the list of these other simply ridiculous sites. Perhaps, it is all done randomly, and I should not take it personally.

But what galls me the most is that my husband signed us up, and is paying for, spam control, and it seems to have gotten worse. Oh no, not in his mailbox, just in mine. I spend every afternoon deleting away and hitting that thumbs down button!

If there is such a thing as a spam magnet, then tag- I’m it!

Spam Magnet

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