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One night I logged into my e-mail account to find 923 messages; 922 of them were junk.
My mom said she never wanted to be that popular. But, I am thanks to a little faux pas I committed a few weeks ago.
There I was, minding my own business, checking my 14 e-mails when something in the subject–line caught my eye. It said, “Free coupons and baby gear.”
I couldn’t resist, so I clicked on it. The message showed a cute little smiling baby, along with the brand names Huggies, Johnson & Johnson and Gerber.
Since having a baby, I have grown to love coupons, and the mere thought of them makes me want to do backflips. So, I went to the site.
After filling out all of my personal information, I expected to have access to coupons or at least get some through the mail.
Weeks have passed, and I still have not seen any coupons. However, I have seen an increase of junk e-mails—starting around 70 per day. My junk filter does not catch all of them. They are coming from so many different places, I have no idea where to begin to unsubscribe.
There are a variety of ads—a little something for everyone. There are ads for pills, natural cures, vacations, jobs, divorce attorneys, matchmaking services, video games and exercise machines.
If you want something gone, there is an ad for that. If you want to find something, there is an ad for that. If you want something smaller, there is an ad for that. If you want something larger, there are tons of ads for that.
Some of the most interesting ones I have received were “advertising” a MacBook Air, and a matchmaking service. The MacBook Air advertisement invited me to “test and keep” the new MacBook Air for free.
If that were, true everyone would be typing their little hearts out on their own MacBook Air right now.
The matchmaking ad had a subject-line that said “Find out who has a crush on you.” They made their first mistake by assuming that I would care if someone did have a crush on me.
I am cruising the Internet in my pajamas, looking for coupons on a Saturday night. I am a modern hermit. Finding out if someone has a crush on me is not high on my list of priorities.
The most surprising of all the junk e-mails arrived last Saturday. It was from “Dr. Suzanne.” The subject was “I know why you are fat.” My first thought was, “Who in the *%#@ is Dr. Suzanne?”
I was suddenly overwhelmed by an urge to find this “Dr. Suzanne” and tell her that I just had a baby (well, about five months ago). I would tell her that I have always been big-boned. I would tell her that I am not fat—I am just really puffy, and don’t ever send me e-mails again!
But after a minute, I realized that I don’t know Dr. Suzanne. I don’t really care what she thinks. I just freaked out over a junk e-mail.
I would take a guess the shady company Dr. Suzanne represents did not get a lot of response from the abrasive sales approach. Some people probably had the same initial reaction that I did, and most people probably didn’t bother to read the subject line when they didn’t recognize the sender.
Having an inbox full of junk has taught me a lesson. If you don’t know the sender or haven’t ordered something from the company, don’t bother opening the e-mail; and always avoid any messages conveyed in a pop-up window—they are nothing but trouble.
And finally, coupons are not always worth the 30 cents you save.
RENEE SLOAN is a staff writer and page designer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.