Evading the Scourge of Junk Email

junk email

It started slowly at first. An annoying junk mail email announcing killer prices on Lasik surgery. An unbelievable offer for a fifty-dollar bonus from Macy’s (if I just completed a survey where I gave up all my personal information). I did what the experts advised. I dutifully clicked on the ‘unsubscribe’ links for each an every junk mail that trickled in.

It didn’t work. Soon, the trickle turned to a torrent: offers for business cards, inheritance notices from countries I’ve never heard of, get-rich-quick schemes, degrees in the mail, lawyers, magic pills, deals on Fords. With the last one, I knew for sure that someone had sold my email address. Any savvy marketer would know that we stand by our Toyotas one hundred percent.

I carefully avoided clicking on any of the emails—sending them directly to the junk mail folder each time one appeared in my inbox. I suddenly realized I spent more time deleting junk mail than I did reading actual important emails. I tightened the filters on my email programs—which worked for a while.

One option, early on, would have been to delete the account and start another one. But I justified keeping the account because I had started using it for the blog and each time I visited and commented on someone else’s site. The thought of changing all that stuff overwhelmed me.

With the advent of the political season, the emails increased—whoever bought my email address had sold it both parties, evidently, because both Trump-haters and
Trump supporters started sending me notices. One side claimed that I could be as smart as Donald if I just bought their product and installed security cameras. The other promised to ensure that he never became president by making a large donation NOW.

I looked on my webhosting service and discovered that they offered two free spam protection programs, so I fired them both up—with little noticeable difference in the flood of junk mail inundating my inbox. I tried blacklisting those who sent the nasty stuff. I wouldn’t know if it worked, though, because the spam numbers never seemed to drop—probably because my email had been sold over and over again and an exponential number of sharks fed in my inbox tank.

And then those junk mail senders turned dirty. Really dirty. So dirty I blushed just skimming over the subject lines. Now I had to make sure that I quit my email program before classes because one of those new subject lines might pop up on my computer whilst explaining to students the use of foreshadowing in To Kill a Mockingbird.

When I went on vacation for a week, my junk mail inbox accumulated over 2435 pieces of trash—not to mention the 350 that had slipped by the filters and spam protection.

I give up. Sure, I could pay $2.99 a month for 99.9% spam protection—but my feeble math brain computes that I’d still get about 27 junk emails a week—even 3.8 junk emails a week seem like too big a burden (especially if those sneaky guys sell my email address to other junk mail purveyors—and we both know what will happen then).

I surrender. I’m deleting that offending account because that’s the only way I’ll rid myself of the scourge of spam. But first, I have to set up a new email address. Then I have to go through my web life and figure out every. single. account. that has the sold-out email address. I must change every. single. one. I hate change. But I know it will make my life so much easier. I’m making the move this week, and I can’t wait for the liberation of my inbox.

Spam reminds me of sin. I think I can handle it on my own. I try gimmicks, gadgets, justification and self-filtering. Somehow, sin seems to expend exponentially until it threatens to bury me under an avalanche where no transponder or St. Bernard will ever find me.

Spam reminds me of sin. I think I can handle it on my own. Click To Tweet

The remedy lies in acknowledgement and surrender. I have to acknowledge that I have a problem that I can’t solve on my own. I have to surrender all of my self, my problems, and my sins to the only One who can create in me a clean heart—free of sin and spam. Once I confess and acknowledge that I have no power, God works in me and through me (in HIS time, not according to my time line) to rid me of the scourge of sin. It’s an ongoing process, but it’s oh, so liberating to rid myself of the burden of sin.

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • Anita, yes, I like the connection of spam and sin together. Junk mail is such a pain in the butt.
    Tara recently posted…The “However” to Our StoryMy Profile

  • What a relief you must feel Anita! I have removed an email address and unsubscribed to so many sites. I want to focus the the emails I want to read. Thanks for sharin. Have a wonderful week and a blessed Easter weekend!
    Horace@pleasingtothePotter.com recently posted…Broken to Blessings:Beautiful Blessings from God-Part IIMy Profile

  • Poppy Don

    You and I have a common problem, infuriating mail. One of my email accounts sends ALL of my mail to the trash before I can read it. So, to read the things that I WANT to read, I have to wade through a list of countless Junk emails.
    Same problem, different angle.
    So. the solution to my problem seems to be: 1) Continue to skim the list & read what I want. Or 2) Delete the email account and open another.
    Sort of like moving and not leaving a Forwarding Address.

    • Yikes! Maybe you need to stop by the Genius Bar the next time you’re near an Apple store. There has to be something to fix that! I discovered that perhaps I misunderstood the filter settings…
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Evading the Scourge of Junk EmailMy Profile

  • Anita, you have a gift for story telling and then nailing the application!
    Michele Morin recently posted…The Heart of FaithMy Profile

  • How much time have we all spent trying to solve our junk mail issues, and how much more on trying to solve our own sin! Love your word picture here and how surrendering is truly the answer. Stopping by from Jennifer’s and then going to clean out my junk mail for the day:) Crystal~

  • Wow, Anita. This is good … so right on.

    Spam = Sin? Yeah, I get it.

    Meanwhile … He is risen indeed! I celebrate with you …
    Linda Stoll recently posted…On Being Intimate ~ and the $40 Giveaway!My Profile

  • Wow! First of all I have had a spam problem before but never to the extent that you described above. And it is a lot like sin because we get caught up in a spinning wheel which is exactly how sin gets ahold of us until we break the cycle or jump off the wheel. Praying the spam problem gets cleared up and you have a beautiful Easter.
    Mary Geisen recently posted…I Remember…My Profile

    • Thank you, Mary! I may have read the spam protection directions incorrectly…I’m giving that one last try before I institute the new email full time!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Living Forward is Triage for LifeMy Profile

  • Surrender – it’s something God has been reminding me of recently too. It’s amazing how hard we fight to hold onto things that we really don’t even control to begin with. Laying them down, and seeking forgiveness and right direction brings freedom. So glad we can lay our every sin at the cross – don’t think He’d mind if we brought some junk mail along too?? Happy Easter to you and yours, Anita. Stopping by from
    Tiffany recently posted…When You Want to Hear God’s VoiceMy Profile

  • Spam and sin. Yep, I see the resemblance! 🙂
    Sarah Donegan recently posted…Far Outweighs Them AllMy Profile