A warning to all parents looking at college web sites. You will be spammed by every other college in the universe. It was bad enough when my kids were Juniors and Seniors in high school. Every single day our mail box was clogged with post cards and brochures from weird little liberal arts colleges NOBODY had ever heard of, in towns NOBODY had ever heard of, and in states ALMOST nobody had ever heard of. We also received a disproportionate amount of cards and brochures from small religious colleges. What the Hell was that about?
My children attended public community colleges and state universities, then one went on the graduate school at an extremely well known private university. We were not wooed by any of these schools, but they gladly accepted our hard working, smart, talented, and amazing children, along with our money. Lots of money. Lots and lots of money.
So anyway, be aware you will be spammed long after your child is accepted into the college or trade school or military service of their choice.
For several years I was also getting letters from Army recruiters. These were not for the kids but for me. Needless to say I’m a bit over their age limit. Finally I sent the local recruiter a nice note and he took me off of the list. He was very nice about it. God only knows where they got my name considering I’m a 161 year old Vampire, well ok I was 159 at the time, but who’s counting.
When my daughter was a high school Senior she kept getting coupons for baby formula and formula samples in the mail. She also received diaper coupons. She was not pregnant or planning to become pregnant. At the same time she was receiving daily requests in the mail to come tour and move into local Senior Citizen communities.
I advise any woman who is pregnant to tell her medical services NOT to sell her information. If she has a miscarriage she will continue to receive stuff for and about babies for a year or more after the fact. Once your name is on that list it is on there for at least two years.
Last year, during the pandemic, I kept getting brochures about cremation and burial services. I would send back the business reply cards after writing, “I’m already dead,” in the comments section.
If you make a onetime purchase on Amazon or any other online retail outlet, but especially Amazon, that item will then be all you see on your FB feed, in your e-mail, and on every other social medial outlet. I ordered some books about the Book of Kells for a school project my child did in the 2nd grade. He is 25 years old and the Book of Kells is still popping up. Not only is this annoying but it is insulting. Nobody normal has obsessions with one time purchases. I don’t need board books after my kids are in Middle School. I don’t need 32 chain saws because I don’t live in Texas.
I also don’t plan on selling my home. I get at least 4-6 text messages a week from vague people wanting to buy my home under value. I tell them it will be 6 million in cash after all costs and taxes. That doesn’t put them off. Of course they’re bots or told to never say no. Usually a Fuck Off will do it, but then another one pops up the next week.
Marketing and mismanaged mail lists have been around forever. Mail lists are full of names of the deceased, names of people who no longer live where the ads are sent, and of other woefully wrong and insulting information. There is a reason the recycle cans where I live are larger than the regular garbage cans. And don’t even get me started on election time.
A recall election for our governor is coming to my state (California.) I am not looking forward to a mail box jammed with flyers that mean nothing to me and have no important information on them. The senders are all excited and hope that maybe for the $450,000 they spend on the mailing for just my zip code that maybe 4 people will respond, or even read it.
Back in the days before the Internet I had friends who would sign people they didn’t like, usually coworkers, or crappy neighbors, up for mail lists. They’d send in magazine subscription cards by the dozens. They’d also fill out cards to send religious missionaries to the doors of unsuspecting victims. I guess that could be considered an early form of trolling. Maybe it was just creative revenge.
Of course there are those folks, like my own mother, who feel the need to read everything that crosses their path. I tell her not to. She never listens. Please, watch out for friends and family who do that. Please. They’re ripe for a con, or need a good book or a hobby.
I’m just rambling now. I’m off to my garden because it is green waste week, but the recycle can is still ready and waiting for today’s mail. I also have to find a nice cool place to sit and delete all of my unwanted text messages, and SPAM emails. Seriously, who has time for this? Not me.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman