You know, I am getting sick and tired of hearing people complain about spam (meaning unsolicited commercial email, not SPAM the lunch meat). Yes, I get tons of spam. And yes, I hate it. But as far as problems in my life goes, this ranks up there with stubbing my toe on the bed.
It wouldn’t be so bad if these whiners just kept their complaining on internet discussion boards. But now we have Federal laws designed to stop spam (and they have the Constitutional authority to do this, how?). The government has for years been looking for excuses to get in and regulate the internet, and all of this hype about spam has given them just another excuse. Not that they’ll be successful, but they’ll make so many lives miserable in the attempt.
The reason why there’s so much spam is that, unfortunately, it works. A study from the University of Maryland has found that 4% of internet users buy something they read about in a spam email. That’s a fantastic response rate given how cheaply emails can be sent.
You might say that there’s no reason that 4% should "force" the rest of us to read spam. But that’s simply not what’s happening. We are all responsible for our own lives, and most of the problems facing this country are caused by people trying to avoid that responsibility. There are tons of solutions, many of them free, that exist to help alleviate the problem. I use the Mozilla suite to read email, and it has an excellent intelligent learning spam filter. The same filter is in their standalone email reader, Thunderbird. If you don’t want to switch email programs, and your email program doesn’t already have a spam filter (most do by now), there’s always the free and excellent SpamBayes. They even have a version that plugs directly into Outlook. Mine gets about 95% of all spams and sticks them in a Junk Email folder, where they’re automatically deleted after seven days. For the few that remain, it’s an easy matter of simply deleting them, or marking them as spam and they automatically go to the Junk folder.
So get over yourselves and take responsibility for your life. It won’t kill you to have to hit the DEL key a few times.