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Bon Journal

Return to sender

Technology is forward looking. They allow us to go forward faster, disseminate information quicker, get more mileage out of what we have. But more is not necessarily better.

Today we get more junk mail than ever before. But it takes such an effort to stop it. If we write "return to sender," the post office will have more work. If we add "and remove me from your database," the sender will have more work. If we add "and please don't send to me again," somebody will have to check that we don't get it again.

I met a lady who has none of these problems. She is not on any mailing list. Her phone number is not listed in the directory. She gets no junk mail.

How did she do it?

She was a victim of junk mail overload. As a result, she made great strides to not collect freebies, not sign up for anything, and not transact online.

I admire her ability to keep out the villainous junk mail. But she still gets junk calls from telephone companies that want her to switch telecom providers. So she tells all her friends that she will screen her calls through her answering machine. She only answers the call if it's someone she recognises.

Have our peaceful lives been reduced to this with all the advanced technology we got? Do we have to hide where there's no technology, to return to the days of wine and roses?

19 April 2002 Friday