Spamarama, False Hopes and Party Invitations

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.

4 thoughts on “Spamarama, False Hopes and Party Invitations

  1. At one point in my life I had a similar revelation…I’ve always heard the Golden Rule as treat others how I want to be treated with it’s sub-rule (but often with more emphasis) to treat others how they treat you. The original is a great way to act while the sub-rule can be fine when everyone is having a great day.

    I tend to think it’s easy to accept the sub-rule because it places responsibility for behavior outside of oneself. One is simply reacting instead of deliberately acting.

  2. Spam does leave a feeling of being slimed. I too, enjoy the feeling of being connected and included. Spam is so impersonal and misleading. Here’s a real comment for the inbox. One that comes with great respect for what you write, what you do and who you are !

  3. Thank you, Blair. That means a lot. “Slimed” is exactly right!

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