That’s Progress I Guess . . .

Do you ever long for the days when life was simpler? I truly miss the little moments of “free time” I used to have before:

junk mail
paper shredding

Ironically, as personal computers began to appear in homes across the country, and a paperless society was predicted, the flood of junk mail continued to escalate to crazy proportions!


Today, more than ever, I’m sorting through and disposing of catalogs, brochures, credit card offers, and sales pitches on everything from replacement windows to service contracts for the fridge. It’s become a constant chore.

Then there are the telemarketers – the countless numbers of them that are somehow exempt from the “do not call list”, either because they are only “doing surveys” or because you inadvertently gave them permission to call you. This permission may have been given when you gave your phone number during a purchase, or perhaps opened a bank account, bought a car, entered a drawing at a local shopping mall, or on any number of other occasions you offered your personal information to a company that’s affliated with the company the telemarketer is representing. Ay yi yi!!!


And how about the nuisance of deleting email spam? Whether it’s for vitamins, “enhancement” potions, or maybe just forwards from well-intentioned friends (who felt compelled to send along that chain letter so that you might escape 10 years of bad luck!), it’s time-consuming to have to sift through it all.


But what annoys me most is the relatively recent chore of shredding! This is a new job. Who was shredding 10 years ago? Big corporations perhaps? Certainly not Mr. & Mrs. Average Citizen. Today we’re warned that all hell could break loose if we casually discard papers that are financial/personal for we could be “tempting” identity thieves! Some of the things that you’re advised to shred, like credit card offers, often arrive as junk mail!!! Talk about a vicious circle of lather, rinse, repeat.


Honestly, if you totaled the minutes wasted with all of this nonsense, you could probably paint a bedroom, knit an afghan, read a book . . . maybe even WRITE a book!

It’s frustrating. I’ve done all of the usual things – getting on the do not call list, removing our name from mailing lists, and not giving our email address and phone number out willy-nilly. Unfortunately doing those things only seems to lessen the problem, not totally eliminate it.

What do you do to tame the junk mail, telemarketing, spam-sending, paper-shredding tiger? 😉


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That’s Progress I Guess . . . — 6 Comments

  1. Hmmmm. Verrrry Interesting!
    I have caller ID. I look at the phone, if I don’t know the number I don’t answer. If they want me, they leave a message. Honestly, sometimes I check em, sometimes I don’t. If I like you, I gave you my cell phone number if you wanted to call me. I screen that too. If you aren’t minute worthy, or not in my “network” I call back on the land line.

    Yep, I shread too. But I don’t get much junk mail.

    As far as spam goes, I have Comcast and McAfee. Don’t know how I did it, but I don’t get spam. I have received maybe 5 of those emails from the Nigerians that want to send me free money. I am diligent about emails. If I don’t know you, I don’t open. But that can be bad. The Valentine Virus email circulated. My boss sent us all a copy of the do not open warning on our computers at work…Well, I got a couple of those warnings at home too..didn’t even open them. Got a e-Valentine from someone. Scared me that it was the virus so I deleted it unopened. Paranoia!

    Now…my time on the computer IS my free time and so is my beading time my FREE time. I love the computer. Not a luxury…my link to the sane world. I have met so many great people in various groups I belong to and several have become cyber friends I want to stay in touch with. Wish I could meet friends that easily in the “real world”. Guess no one has “free time” for friendships.

  2. I actually have a few websites for you to check out here. I read about these on some “green” or environmental site that I read often (just can’t remember which ones). Check out the sites below to help you control junk mail, catalog subscriptions, etc. Hope this helps some!

    Crystal says: Thanks Aimee 🙂 I really appreciate your input! Because I’ve not had any experience with these particular organizations, I’d just like to add that we should check them out thoroughly before signing up with them.

  3. Oh, I hate telemarketing! I have no telephone home anymore. I don’t use telephone to talk to my family or friends, so I just don’t answer the cellphone if the number is from another state. I check the numbers on google, and it’s ALWAYS from credit card companies. My list of contacts has already more numbers of these companies (to not to answer) than from people I know! That’s crazy!

  4. I just have to comment on the deluge of paper that you mentioned. My dh and I ran a business for 20 years and I have to say the idea of a paperless society was a laugh. We actually had a computer program that required us to run an enormous number of printed sheets as part of our month end closing. The stack of paper was 3 inches tall….I am not exaggerating. You were required to actually print the pages out or the month end statements would not print. We cut them up for note paper but STILL!!!!

  5. This post made me think of how people prefer email over writing ‘real’ letters now..

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