Just Leave Me Alone Already

Lately I’ve been feeling kind of annoyed at the world.  I can’t help it.  It’s just the way I feel.  I have an incredible sense of “just leave me alone already.”  I don’t want anymore sales pitches.  I don’t want to get anymore emails.  I’m tired of these notifications I didn’t sign up for.  Since when did I subscribe to this newsletter you’re sending to me?  I don’t remember filling out anything?  I don’t like all the shit that needs to be taken care of around the house.  I’m tired of taking my kids to their sports games and practices.  I’m tired of things that I deem a complete waste of time.  I’m at the point where I just want to crawl in a hole, sit there for a few weeks, and not interact with anyone.  There, I got that off my chest.  Phew!

It’s just too bad I don’t really feel better.  I’m willing to bet that many of you reading this have been there.  In fact you might even be there right now.  I’m also here to tell you that there’s hope.  But you’re going to have to face some harsh realities if you’re going to get out of this annoying rut.  Are you ready?  Here we go.  Most of this stuff is your fault.  No, seriously it is.  And most of this stuff is also my fault.  Allow me to explain.

It’s an Accumulation

It’s very rare that we realize just how often we “opt into” things.   I mean sure, it’s one thing to blatantly sign up for a newsletter.  It’s another to enter your personal details to create an account somewhere.  But that’s not what I’m talking about.  Think about how many times you’ve place pen to paper and written your email address.  What about your phone number?  What about your actual address?  We do these things all the time without even giving them a second thought.  Perhaps in the last couple of years personal privacy is becoming more of a concern but come on.  We’re still doing this stuff ALL the time.

Remember that tour you had to take of that time share to get the free gift?  Chances are very likely that you’re somehow still getting mail from that company.  And how the hell does your school track down every single address you’ve ever had to send you all that Alumni crap?  Seriously, I still don’t get that one.  All you have to be is living on this planet for all of a year to build up some kind of profile for the world to see and spam.  Just imagine being over 30.  Imagine now having family members.  Imagine having a car, a phone, a cable bill.  Just think about how much access you’re giving people and companies.  It should come as no surprise that you’re being bombarded every single day by offers, introductions, and God knows what else.

You’re online, period

To top of your entire life history and the accumulation of “crap” that’s going to be sent to you on a daily basis there’s this little thing they call the internet.  Ever since this handy system has been invented, the ways in which our lives have been tracked will forever be changed.  If you think you have any kind of life of your own and you happen to have an internet connection, you are surely mistaken.  I personally don’t care.  I mean as long as people aren’t coming knocking on my door I couldn’t care less about an advertisement that “knows me” because of some websites that I was browsing.

However, that’s not to say that it’s not annoying at times.  The fact that every little thing you do on the internet shapes how a company might connect with you or contact you is a bit overwhelming.  Put it this way.  My wife’s email inbox has something like 50,000 unread messages.  Why?  Because she has no clue what the hell she’s doing.  She’s one of those people that signs up for every single little thing.  She’s literally the ideal target for any company that’s looking to sell something.

While I’m not so much better than the wife, I at least am pretty selective about what I sign up for and who I’m communicating with online.  Still though, that just means instead of 50,000 messages I’m getting at least 20-30 a day of unwanted crap.

Take the good with the bad

Like anything else in life you must decide if the juice is worth the squeeze.  If you can handle all the spam and the unwanted advances then it’s likely worth it.  But if you don’t have some sort of end goal in mind when you’re simply giving away access to you, it might be time to rethink everything.  The most important thing is to take full personal responsibility.  Read the fine print.  If you don’t read the fine print and you act all surprised because you’re getting bombarded with crap, it’s your fault.

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