By Judy Reiss
Nobody was more excited than I was to learn that I could have my very own computer to use at home. I had one at work for several years and for me it was an amazing transformation from pencil to pen to typewriter to computer. And think, what could be more exciting then to have my own personal computer at home to do whatever I wanted to with.
I got my little computer, and learned how to type and write. Not only that but I didn’t have to erase anymore; I could just backspace and wipe away any changes I needed to make with no muss and no fuss. Then I learned about the most amazing thing, not only could I ask the computer almost any question; it would answer me within seconds. But the greatest new thing of all was email. What I learned about email was that it was an opportunity for me to write to my friends and have them answer me at their leisure. It didn’t even cost a stamp. However, except for the name email, very little that I thought about this program was true. Now I don’t want you to think I mind getting information from my doctor or dentist, or even a receipt or thank you note from a merchant I do business with, because I don’t. But what I really, really hate is getting more advertisements, than getting personal messages.
When I got my first email telling me what product to buy to lose weight, I was a little offended and just deleted it. I didn’t think much could be worse than the flagrant advertisements for breast implants or enlargements until I got one for breast reduction. To be perfectly honest, I had never given either one of my breasts that much thought. And why on earth would anyone think that I was at all interested in enlarging a male “endowment” or whatever else you need to do to make it more attractive.
Of course, maybe it’s that I’m so old but I find it difficult to imagine buying a house or car from an advertisement sent to your email without even seeing it in person. I have watched The Peoples Court enough to know too many people buy a car through online advertising and end up with a piece of junk that they can’t even drive.
I guess I was just naïve. I thought email meant electronically getting mail, which would make your life easier. I don’t know about you but it sure hasn’t made my life any easier. I try to check my email every day, and every day I get approximately 25 emails. Of that 25, if I am very lucky, I get one letter from a friend. I know so few are going to be things I actually want to read, so I whip through the list and delete everything that isn’t from a name that I know. I have to admit that I do look at the ads from L.L. Bean, and sometimes Pro Flowers, because on rare occasions they have things I would like to buy. But other than that, Delete, Delete, Delete.
I guess the world is moving too fast for me, just as I learn to use my cellphone, they add a new app that I’m told “I can’t live without.” My email, instead of being user-friendly, has become a receptacle for junk. Maybe, I’ll just have to go back to using snail mail and a landline. Can you imagine?