Checking your email (Photo credit: Wouter de Bruijn)
As I mentioned in my last post, I asked my dad to have a look at Gretchen Scheiman’s article, “Does Permission Need To Be Explicit?”. My dad is a baby boomer and I think is a relatively normal email user. He does not know (nor does he care) how spam filters or mail servers work. He calls me when his email reader (Eudora) breaks down or when mail appears to get lost. And Dad’s biggest complaint about email is how much spam he gets.
He very kindly responded:
First of all, I thought the writer was a little naive about allowing spammers or web site owners to send her email.
I didn’t like her attitude about “come on one and all.” I have found (by experience) that if I let someone in my email by not giving permission, I have a real problem about getting them to stop and a lot of the time having their friends to come in, as well.
After reading her article I tried to compare it to what I do when I visit a web site. If the web site has a feature on it to find out more about the product or company, I invite them to send the info either by email or a daily, weekly, or monthly newsletter. I haven’t had any problem with getting these companies to stop sending me their info if I ask them or by clicking the unsubscribe link located most of the time at the bottom of their email.
As much as I try to keep the uninvited out, I’m forever receiving mail from the unethical spammers, anyway. I have found out (by experience) that if you tell them to stay out, they change a letter or number slightly and resend the email. It is an on going battle to say the least, but I work as hard as I can to keep these bums out of my email.
There you have it, folks. His concern is that if you start sending him mail without permission that he won’t be able to get you to stop sending him mail when he wants you to. That sounds pretty sane and rational to me. If someone starts emailing without permission, why would their recipients expect them to then stop emailing at any point?
And the bottom line here: My dad, at least, sees people who who email without permission as bums who should be kept out of his inbox.