30 Days of Thanks, day 18- The Unsubscribe Button

During the month of November I am writing about the first thing that I am consciously thankful for each day as a way to be more intentionally grateful. Check out the first one for more information on why I am doing this. Thanks for the revision, Christi.

It is a historical fact that email solicitation was the primary driving force behind Hitler’s invasion of Poland. History is always open to personal interpretation, but I’m pretty sure that’s right. Here is a non-exhaustive list of things I don’t care to read every morning:

  • Register for our 3-day conference that will change the way you look at life. Based on our correspondence so far, I can only assume that conference will be advertisement for another conference.
  • This new product/seminar/strategy will increase productivity. Maybe if I didn’t have to spend the better part of an hour deleting your emails I would have time to get something done.
  • Someone stopped saying “Merry Christmas.” We get it, American Family Association, you love Christmas. I do too. Now please leave me alone before I deck your halls.
  • You’re only 7 days and $49 from a new degree. I’m pretty sure mailing you a check isn’t going to increase my income as much as you claim. Unless there are instructions on how to start my own education scam on the back of my E-ploma.
  • We’ve noticed you’re a little behind on your reading plan. Ok, this one’s not really fair because I love that youversion.com sends reminders when you fall behind, but sometimes I click on reading plans just to see what they are. I’m not really attempting to read the Aramaic Bible eight times this month.
  • You have one new message at classmates.com. Didn’t Facebook pretty much make these niche connection sites obsolete? Maybe we should all send them two or three emails a day letting them know about it.
  • Make thousands of dollars recycling cell phones. Really? My wife’s old LG VX3200 is worth thousands of dollars?

The worst part is that I know I didn’t sign up to receive these notices. There is no way that I possibly forgot to uncheck one of the “send me emails about things I don’t care about” boxes when I was signing up to win my free XBox. On an unrelated note- In an amazing stroke of luck, I have been the 1,000,000th visitor to several sites lately.

Fortunately for those of us who are still resisting Hitler’s stranglehold, there is a link at the bottom of these emails, usually in 2 ½ point font, that allows you to unsubscribe. I’m not sure who forced email advertisers to add this secret trap door exit to their dungeons of digital deceit, but I think it’s safe to assume that he won at least one Nobel Prize. The unsubscribe button is somewhere around the polio vaccine and the Panama Canal   on the scale of human ingenuity, just below the flux capacitor.

I can’t be the only one who wants to toss a keyboard through an LCD screen every morning as I weed through countless junk emails. While I’m standing in line at Best Buy to buy a new display I’ll remember that…

Today, November 18, I am grateful for the unsubscribe button and hopeful that the dethroned Nigerian Prince will get on board with the trend.


About Jeff Postlewaite

high school principal since '07, father since '04, teacher since '03, husband since '03, sound tech since '96, UVA fan since '92, gadget junkie since '89, Christian since '88, Giants fan since '84, golfer since '83, brother since '83, human since '81

Posted on November 18, 2011, in 30 Days of Thanks and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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