Tag Archives: The Internet

An open letter to email newsletter subscribers

Dear Subscribers to Email Newsletters:

I am not speaking for the spammers of the world. I am not a spammer and think spammers are quite horrible and deserve to be banned on ISPs. I am speaking for people who send legitimate email newsletters to people who asked to be placed on email newsletter lists, either by signing up on the Internet or adding their name to a list in a shop or at an event.

Please do not mark legitimate newsletters as spam when you get tired of receiving them. A legitimate newsletter will have a link to unsubscribe your email address (usually near the bottom of the email). Please use that link instead. If you mark legitimate newsletters as spam you are hurting the reputation of the address of the sender and if too many people mark the newsletters as spam, the person sending the emails will be banned from sending emails. Many newsletter programs will also ban newsletter authors if too many list members mark their newsletters as spam.

Yes, clicking “Spam” in your email program is easier than scrolling to the bottom of an email newsletter and clicking unsubscribe, but please take that extra couple of seconds and unsubscribe that way. It really is the right thing to do. Many people who send legitimate email newsletters take great pains to make it easy to identify who the email is from and how to unsubscribe.

Thank you very much.


A legitimate newsletter list sender

An Un Post

I find it kind of amusing and a little upsetting that the tiny prefix “un” has become a common threat or even a weapon these days in social media venues.

On Twitter, when someone “follows” you it is usually a good thing. It usually means that they find what you have to say of interest. Sometimes people unfollow you too — most of the time you don’t notice it. Sometimes you notice it and wonder why they did unfollow you, but it really isn’t usually a big deal. Some people, however, think that they are so important that they can threaten to unfollow others in order to change the followee’s behavior. (Please note that neither of the people below follow me nor do I follow either of them. I searched for “unfollow” on twitter.)

Bitchh I will unfollow the shit out of u, keep dickin !
Twitter unfollow threat

Then there is Facebook. On Facebook people “friend” you. Often it is because they actually know you in real life or online. Sometimes it is because they admire you. Occasionally they might even be stalking you. I’ve not seen “unfollow” used as a threat much on Facebook, but the threat is sometimes implied. Here’s one that is more of a stern warning than a threat.

The next blues band from who-knows-where that sends me an invitation through the message inbox, instead of the invitation feature, is going to get "unfriended." Sorry, folks, I'm not going to attend your show 1,000 miles from here. I didn't sign up for FB to be spammed with ads.
Facebook unfriend warning

Finally, the last and possibly meanest “un” threat is “uninstall”. I’ve only seen this in the comments of my phone’s “market”. I have an android based cell phone and the android market is full of useful and not so useful applications — most of them free of charge. Anyone can create an app for an android phone and upload it to the market. People download it via their phone and sometimes rate and/or comment on their experience with the app.  Sometimes people say things like, “Great app!”. Sometimes they say, “Useful app, but it needs such-and-such.”. And sometimes they say, “This app is a waste. Uninstall!”. Sometimes it is probably a waste or doesn’t work properly, but tossing in the word uninstall is like salt on a wound. It is not only unnecessary it is there to hurt someone who gave them something for free in the first place.

I don’t like this trend at all. Our language and our society need more positives and fewer negatives. It seems that the more avenues that are opening for people to communicate with each other, the more ways some people are finding to hurt each other.

My 24 hours away from the Internet

Not counting using my phone to check Facebook notifications (one time) and email (about 10 times), I spent yesterday Internet free. I mean I never used my computer to connect to the Internet.

Here’s what I did instead:

  • Gave a real live, in-person presentation to approximately 40 people about PDF accessibility with a woman I’d met via Twitter and my PDF accessibility blog (my first talk to that many people in 8 years not counting the brief one at a funeral)
  • Drove back and forth to Rockville twice
  • Watched my son’s wrestling team win their meet
  • Visited with son and husband while they packed waited for their ride to Snowshoe for two days of skiing and male bonding (2 adult males & 3 male teens)
  • Leafed through [every page] of the used copy of Jeff Smith’s Frugal Gourmet I recently picked up at a library sale.
  • Made and ate croque monsieur (and half an avocado with balsamic vinegar) for dinner (oh, yeah, and some red wine too)
  • Watched 2 movies (I Love You Man & The Yes Man — [was I missing my men?]) on Cinemax which we get free for 3 months because Verizon hopes we forget to cancel and then they can charge us even more money than they already do
  • Went to sleep at 9:30 (possibly result of red wine)

And you know what? Nothing bad happened. I didn’t get any important emails that I had to answer by last night. No one had a pressing question about PDF accessibility on my accessibility blog. No one had an email that had to be sent immediatly on my neighborhood email list. The wrestling coach didn’t have a post that had to be put up ASAP.

Will I do it again soon? Probably not.

Was it refreshing to stay away from the Internet for a whole day? Eh, it was fine. I didn’t really notice until this morning.

Did I accomplish  more than I would have done had I been online some of the day? Not really. Maybe. I don’t know. Maybe.

Do I have a problem and am I addicted to the Interenet? No comment.