I hate spam. Actually I sort of like Spam, the nasty-but-tasty meat, but I really do hate spam, the wasteful, annoying, distracting gunk that comes into our inboxes.
You don’t need me to riff on all the reasons why it’s odious. You likely share my feelings about it.
Mail and blog comments get my hopes up. They arouse my desires to connect deeply with people. They touch the parts of me that long to have impact on others through my words. And so it’s quite a downer to see, for example, a comment posted to the blog and then to find out that it’s a fake comment and that I am being offered more Viagra, the chance to link to a site about sheep urine, or something with malicious content that seems to be written in the language my children made up when they were small.
It’s the same feeling when you get an invitation in the mail, and you light up with excitement that someone is having a party! Oh, fun! An occasion. And I’m included.
But then the excitement fades when you find out that it’s a fundraiser or that jewelry or Tupperware is for sale. I might want to give to that cause, and I might want to buy a bracelet or a deviled-egg keeper. I really might. But more than that, I want to be invited, seen, heard, and appreciated just for me, just because someone finds imperfect me delightful.
We can’t do a whole lot to make sure that people notice us and express appreciation, but we can do a lot to be sure that we do that for other people. We can take a second to say, “Good job!” or “I love what you wrote,” or “I’m having a party just because, and it wouldn’t be the same without you!”
Because it’s true. Down with Spam; up with sincerity.