It finally drove me to writing. I was going to say drink, but it’s before 8 am here, although I have been known to have an occasional rum for medicinal purposes. I’m here because I was cleaning out the email that managed to escape my blocker and became infuriated by something that has irked me for years.

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to unsubscribe from the various sites you signed up for or from junk mail that keeps coming your way? You can get a full page of words and pictures, but can’t you find the “Unsubscribe” link. It is seriously frustrating and I am upset about it enough to ask Congress to pass a bill stating that the “Unsubscribe” link be clearly viewable in at least 12-point type and located at the top of the screen.

Of course, I know that asking Congress to do anything is truly a silly idea, but I thought what the hell, they aren’t doing anything else. Besides, most of us don’t have the kind of money it takes to have our own Congressperson, so, we’re just shit out of luck. So much for that idea.

Aside making the “Unsubscribe” type so small that a magnifying glass is necessary to read it, color rendering should be assigned to the “Unsubscribe” link. In addition to making the making the type so small that a gnat couldn’t read it, the “Unsubscribe” is often hidden with similar colors sending the reader on an “Unsubscribe” treasure hunt. Have you ever tried to find a dark grey “Unsubscribe” link on a black page or an orange link on a page of similar color? It’s damn near impossible and it’s intended to be that way.

If you’re fortunate enough to find the “Unsubscribe” link don’t think your problems are over. You click on the “Unsubscribe” link and a whole new world of issues pop up. “Type in your–email.” Hell, I don’t know what it is or was when I got on this list. My idea is that if you were smart enough to find me, then you’re smart enough to lose me. If you just happen to remember, even then you can’t leave with your dignity in place because a survey pops up asking why you are leaving.

Who gives a damn why I am leaving? I’m just outta here. Usually there is a comment box asking "What we could do better to serve our customers" and if I have enough strength left, I’ll type in, “Leave me them the *uck alone. Just walk away slowly and no one will get hurt and I’m sure many of your customers feel the same. Once you finish your walk through the maze, the site has nerve to exclaim, “Sorry to see you go!”

Seriously, we need a movement to get these things done. We aren’t solving world hunger, curing cancer or even killing houseflies, but this one little change would make life on the Internet much easier. Congress stopped those irritating unwanted phone calls (somewhat) and even with their less than poor work record, they could do something about such a small thing, as they apparently have nothing else to do.

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Comment by Amit Malik on June 8, 2016 at 12:01pm

Mine go to trash automatically. As for the frustration...I have learned to let go...;)...Now I find all those pre-leaving messages humorous..

Comment by Grinning Cat on June 8, 2016 at 10:33am

Any email system ought to have a search function to "Find" text within a message. (Try Ctrl-F.) That might help with finding the all-but-invisible "unsubscribe" link, if you gave the company your email but now want out.

I too am annoyed by interest groups' "surveys" that are designed not really to get a sampling of opinion, but stir up emotions by preaching to the choir with loaded questions -- and then they ask for a donation. As you said, Don, "your opinion is secondary."

I'll make an exception for surveys that genuinely ask group members about priorities or about "which one of these candidates should we endorse?" (MoveOn has done this, refusing to endorse candidates that didn't get a 2/3 survey majority.)

A good "temporary, public, throwaway email" service: If you need a fake email address to get a confirmation link, read or download a "free" article, etc., just make up No password, no privacy; email messages get deleted after a few hours.

And a note about spam. If YOU didn't sign up for the emails, the "unsubscribe" link does more harm than good. It lets the spammers know that there's a real live human being at your email address.

Good luck!

Comment by Michael Penn on June 8, 2016 at 10:12am

I might add that congress will vote on a Supreme Court justice, one way or the other, whether you have tried to influence them or not. Most plays like this break down to public opinion surveys and a plea for money.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on June 8, 2016 at 10:01am

Michael--My latest are political come ons asking you to make congress to vote on the Supreme Court justice. However, when you get there they want a donation. Your opinion is secondary.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on June 8, 2016 at 9:58am

Daniel--It is damn frustrating. However, there is a program that not only rejects these files, but sends it back over and over.

Comment by Michael Penn on June 8, 2016 at 8:47am

OI sign my share of Change.Org petitions but I'm even getting tired of those now. People want and ask for the most ignorant things. You have to watch where you click on anything or you find you have "subscribed" to something. It's ridiculous.

I use Yahoo mail and am getting upset there also. They keep wanting to show you video and get you to watch videos. I want to read, dammit! Now I am looking for blockers on those videos.



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