NOTE: All of these have happened to me. They’re just presented in a whimsical light. But underlying that is the truth–the tone of email has changed, and perhaps not for the better.
Has anyone else had this experience–you’re flipping through your email and you see some weird offering for Cat Insurance or How to Make Wine in the Closet for $4.99 a Bottle–just something that somehow ended up on your email radar. So you scroll to the bottom, past the dire cat-health pictures, or the drunk people living it up in your closet. You’re seeking the Unsubscribe link.
OK, you find the magic Unsubscribe button and hit it. One of several things that happened to me lately have caught my attention.
- You get to Unsubscribe. Yay, and you’re off to the next weird email.
- An insidious red warning pops up saying if you go to this website your computer will blow up. Or something. Whatever it is, it will be so dreadful my computer makes me sign some kind of waiver just to get into it. So I back out–quickly–and now I’m stuck getting daily messages about how crappy my current car insurance is and how much better Joe Blow’s is. I feel like I’m in some room where if I stick my nose out, my head will get blown off.
- Further down, you click on a very annoying email explaining how drinking some magic potion will not only make you lose 3 pounds overnight, but you won’t even be up peeing every 15 minutes, and all that fat will TURN INTO MUSCLE! Wow. Let’s get rid of that one. In order to do so, I have to type my email address into the Unsubscribe box. Wait, I just got an email from your company sent to my email address and you need it again? Something hinky about that one. The old Fast-as-Lightning Net Loans site is the same way. Who knows where my address is going? I have to think about that one.
- I deal with several book deals and recipes, then find my cursor hovering over an email that says Hormonal Weight Loss. What does that even mean? Click Unsubscribe and get this one: Never email me again. You will never be able to sign up to receive communications from this sender in the future. You may, however, still receive transactional messages from this sender. Now what does that mean? Isn’t that exactly what I’m trying to get rid of?? Screw it, I go for it.
- Another weight loss add. I think someone is trying to tell me something. Do the click–We can’t take you to this site. The connection won’t go through, or something. Why not, you got to my email without any problem, why can’t you return the favor? I try a few more times, just to see what will happen. Finally I get to a huge Dog-and-Pony Show-type ad where I’ll probably not ever find an Unsubscribe link. I know they’re counting on that. So here I go. Five minutes later, and I still can’t find it. Forget it.
- This is an oldie–I’ve been getting emails from a certain clothing/household goods company for quite a while. Months. I go to unsubscribe, and they instead invite me to subscribe to their list. Excuse me… I’m not subscribed to you? #*&@%! Then why are you flooding my email with your stupid ads? Do I have to subscribe, then unsuscribe to get you to stop?! I refuse to do it. It’s the principle of the thing. It’s too ridiculous.
- And my final for today–yes, there’s the old favorite: Error occurred while updating preferences. Thank you, high-end perfume company.
I’ve included some screenshots, just so you can share my joy. After all, they’re sharing everything with me, whether or not I want it. At least you’re reading this because I’m vaguely entertaining and I don’t want to sell you anything–except my books. I think you’ll love them. The emails? I don’t know what to do about them! Just Unsubscribe when I can, delete all other times.