Before there were jokes of the day or meditations of the day there were Dial a Laugh and Dial a Prayer. If you were feeling down you could call for a smile or an inspirational pick me up. Now we can enjoy inspiration in our inboxes every day by way of a joke, recipe, song, home decorating tip, deep discount air fare, fashion accessory, sports trivia, or even a prayer of the day. No need to wait until you need help dealing with life, life’s little boosts come to you. Directly. At no charge to you.
The thing about free anything, particularly something free that you can get every day of every week, is that they end up costing something. But not you. To you the subscriber the most expense you incur is the time it takes to scroll around or to read the ads that come with the daily encouragement. No, this isn’t a rant about ads. Ads are fine. I like ads. Ads will buy my old folks home space someday. Ads make the world go ‘round. And it’s because of this that I had this thought pop into my head three weeks ago.
What popped was “Really?” and what made it pop was “If you want to continue receiving this email, please click here.” The email in question is one of the ubiquitous OTDs. The question was, “Really? Well that’s a new one,” which I guess really isn’t a question but literary license and all that. What it definitely was though, it was a first. Usually you have to do almost anything you wouldn’t want to do in front of your parents to get out of an email subscription that you once actually asked for. If you are lucky enough to find among the message’s fine print a link to unsubscribe it usually takes you to a series of questions verifying your unwise selection (You are about to have your name PERMANENTLY removed. Are you sure you want to do this?) then respond to several confirming emails with links that take you to more veiled queries regarding your decision making and ultimately your sanity. Nobody lets anybody go from a subscription list. Those are the numbers that advertisers live by. They are literally the lifeblood of the OTDers.
So when I saw this email, this special email sent separate from the daily delivery of inspiration, I knew it was an experiment in the making. If anything, one would have thought that the email would have said that they needed to confirm their list and if I no longer wanted to receive it I should respond, but this was a whole new bag of beans. (Look, somebody has to make up new idioms and someday when “bag of beans” is old hat you’ll be able to say that you read it first.) Personally, I didn’t care if I got that daily gem or not so I didn’t “click here.” About a week later I got another email reminding me that I hadn’t yet responded to their previous inquiry and if I wanted to keep receiving their pearls of wisdom I should “click here.” Again I didn’t. Now two weeks after that I’m still getting my daily missives.
Well the joke is on them. I’m getting what other people have to actually go out and ask to get and I didn’t have to do anything for it. How’s that for pulling one over on them. Hehehe.