analytical Q May-Aug 2000Sept-Dec 2000ContactDiscussion

The Diary
Anne Ku

1 October 2000 Sunday



Whoever invented "direct mail" and "direct marketing" never foresaw what a pain it would be for those on the receiving end. In these days of environmental consciousness, I, as a recipient, feel guilty having to throw such junk mail away.

It's a waste of paper. It's a waste of my time and attention - to open the envelope, skim through it, and decide what to do with it. Ninety percent of the time, I have to recycle it. In this country, I pay for someone to collect my recycling box. In essence, I pay for receiving junk mail.

One day I had enough! Sticking a RETURN TO SENDER label on the unopened junk mail didn't work. They would keep coming back. So I sat down and hand-wrote letters asking them to STOP sending me anymore.

Strangely enough, the growth of my junk mail volume is manageable. The real killer is Spam mail (junk mail by email), which is growing exponentially. The bulk of my spam mail arrives on the weekend. This is even more irritating than junk mail, for I pay to log onto the Internet (since telephone connections are not free in Britain), and then I have to spend time deleting such mail to have room to receive the really important mail. Fortunately, unlike moving house, I can change my email address easily in cyberspace. I might have to be a serial cyberspace gypsy, just to run away from my spam mail.