Privacy? Please?

My gosh, it’s gotten ridiculous.  Technology leaves us ever more vulnerable to spamming, to intrusion.  And the irony is, part of me desperately wants to be left alone, and part of me needs that tether to the outside world.

But some tethers are seriously too much.  My email spam is assinine.  A lot of it is clearly age-related (senior dating, oxygen, burial costs, walk-in tubs?  folks, when I need this stuff, trust me, I’ll find it on my own, thanks).  And then there’s the hundreds of emails that are so senseless…tinnitus?  Is ringing in the ears an epidemic that I don’t know about?  Military grade flashlights?  Where the hell do you people think I live?  And my first name is NOT Carl.  I don’t want a thicker, longer anything, thanks.

What really gets me is clicking the link at the bottom.  Unsubscribe.  As if I subscribed to any of this shit in the first place.  Pretty sure all that does is verify they’ve hit a valid email address.

Then there’s phone spam.  Reduce your credit card debt!  Once, I stayed on the line, and actually waited to get one of their reps, then demanded to be put on their do not call list.  She had the nerve to tell me they don’t have one.  You ever get the ones where they try to trick into thinking you have a real person?  “Oh, let me adjust my headset!”  Ok, Tiffany, you do that.

Those are annoying, but stupid.  The ones that are really annoying are the ones that spoof numbers.  I’ve called numbers back, not sure if it was a doctor verifying or changing an appointment, only to get some bewildered soul saying, “I never called you.”  And I believe them, because I’ve been on the other end of those calls.  So, what’s the point?  Ring twice then hang up?  Are they verifying that’s a valid phone number?  Because I don’t quite get how you plan to sell me something without me hearing anything you have to say.

Here’s the newest one, and I’m not sure why, but it aggravates me the most: Facebook messenger.  It’s happened with Facebook business themselves (I blocked them til it eased up), and some other business, and now an author.  Hey, I’m an author, and I’m all in favor of supporting each other.  But I find it offensive and intrusive, that if I like your page, you find that an invitation to spam me on Messenger.

As soon as I clicked like, this popped up:

Hey (my name here) ! I just want to make sure you haven’t been captured by an evil dragon and forced to subscribe against your will. If you’re happily free of nefarious dragon wiles, reply YES.

Subscribe?  I maybe misunderstood.  I thought I was subscribing to a few emails, like when you have new books coming out.  So, stupid me, I replied yes.

Then, bam:

Welcome Carol! 👋 Thank you for subscribing. The next post is coming soon, so stay tuned!

If you ever want to unsubscribe just type “stop”.

P.S. Here’s a portal to Faerie I discovered last week. Don’t get lost! 

Huh?  I get it.  Cute, clever.  Engage the readers.  But not for me.  I’m working on things on my desktop, and these are becoming intrusive.

Hi Carol! Are you new to my books, or have you read them all already?

I’m new!

 

From here on in, I admit, it falls on me.  I don’t know if I thought they were giving away free copies or downloads, or why I allowed it to go on.  And it really is a clever thing, clearly automated to puke up links and polls on a regular basis.  As someone who really needs to get out their and promote their own book, I get it…it’s simple, it’s automated, so minimal work, and it’s probably cheap (just whatever software).  But in the end, it’s another means of spamming.  You gave me your Facebook page, you gave me your website.  If I want your book, I can now easily find it.  So, go away.  Go write more books.

I can’t do this.  I’m one of those people who “hates to bother anyone”.  I am also not a particularly good salesperson.  Not in my nature.  You tell me no, and I’ll respect that.  I don’t want to tell you why you need this product but just don’t know it yet.

I’m just tired of having to question everything.  To click or not to click?  At this point, I mostly don’t click, at least in Messenger.  If friends have sent me something legit, and I miss it because I don’t click, I’m sorry.  The risks have become too much.  There is too much identity theft, too many fake profiles, too many viruses, too much clickbait.

So, um….buy my books.  Or my artwork.  You can click to do it…right on this page…BUT, remember, you are here of your own free will.  And I don’t follow up with messages or emails (nor do I discourage them).

Oops…one last thing.  Some people have read my books, and messaged me about them, or about getting the next one, or what Con will be at next.  If you do this, and don’t get an answer, forgive me.  If you aren’t on my friends list, Facebook won’t send me the message.  I’ve discovered this the hard way.  Now I try to go in and check filtered messages (so make sure you let me know who you are), but I’ve felt horrible in the past, seeing a message of praise seven months after it was sent.  That poor person probably thinks I’m the biggest asshole ever….

Really, I’m more of a medium.  Enjoy your weekend!

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