There used to be a story (or maybe there still is, I haven’t been past in ages), near my apartment in small-town Guelph called The Boxed Meat Revolution. Every now and then that phrase floats through my waking thoughts, and I have a quiet chuckle. It’s a funny phrase – slightly dirty seeming without ever actually flirting with dirtiness.
This morning, as I reported 41 separate Twitter accounts for spamming me, the phrase floated through my mind again. This time, it drifted past as “The Canned Meat Revolution”.
I got spammed because I dared to post that I was looking to hire web developers with Wordpress and/or Adobe CQ5 experience. Note that I said hire. Not contract out to a company in India, which will work for a whopping $12 per hour.
It is, of course, not limited to Twitter, this sort of abuse of communications systems. I get it on Facebook every now and then (Twitter automatically updates my FB status), and I get it on LinkedIn once in a while. I definitely get it through email. Somewhere offshore there is a team dedicated to finding posts I make about my profession (but not just that. Could be about sailboats, or my cat. Maybe it’s a picture of a rusty soda can I posted on my website) and contacting me to offer their services.
Not limited to the ‘online’ world either. I get telephone calls, like everyone else. Don’t even get me started on the 100 lbs of junk mail that gets rammed through the mail slot in my front door.
Granted this isn’t as offensive as actual scams being perpetrated via these channels. I routinely get txt messages telling me I’ve won something or other, and only have to txt a response (no double at $10 a shot). Hells bells, I am sick and tired of these parasites sucking the marrow from the bones of modern communication in hopes of racing each other to the bottom of the price bracket to offer me services I don’t want, and will never use.
See, I have a personal policy. I NEVER EVER EVER conclude a transaction that I have not personally initiated. Ever. Have I emphasized this enough? Call me to offer duct cleaning services on my house (which actually has no ducts)? Even if the requisite equipment existed, I’d not use your services. Even if if were cheaper than any other duct-cleaning service. How dare you invade my personal communications space – a space I take very seriously and consider an extension of my person – for as base a reason as to sell me something? How dare you?
So, I offer this advice to the word at large, and note that I am not emailing it everyone, nor am I following perfect strangers on Twitter and pointing them to it:
If you want to do business with me, don’t’ contact me. I’ll contact you. If you want to guarantee you never make a red (and soon no longer legal tender in Canada) cent off me, by all means, keep spamming.
I have a personal theory that if half – one out of every two – people out there did as I did and refused to do business with and sort of spammer, this sort of offensive, aggressive ‘marketing’ would vanish in days.