Something to Read When You're Bored


Spam Count
February 11, 2008, 10:55 pm
Filed under: Random | Tags: ,

I finally figured out a way to alleviate my annoyance at getting huge numbers of spam e-mails in my otherwise much-loved gmail account. For a long time I was an avid spam deleter, sending new spam into permanent oblivion moments and sometimes even seconds after it appeared in my automatically provided spam folder. It was bound to catch my attention eventually that right next to the ‘delete all spam messages now’ button there was a little note informing me that ‘messages that have been in Spam more than 30 days will be automatically deleted’. I used to look at that note and wonder how on earth anyone could stand to let that collection of insidious solicitations sit festering for such a long time (although they can be entertaining- right now subject lines in my spam folder include ‘Change your garden tool into a POWER DRILL’ and ‘Get your Giant Pilot into her C0ckpit’), but eventually it made me wonder just how many messages the spam folder would accrue if left alone for 30 days. Finally my curiosity overcame my spam aversion, and right around the first of the year I stopped deleting new spam.

It was with surprise and delight that I discovered this new approach completely changed my perspective on spam. I found myself looking forward to spam as the number of those inane and unstoppable e-mails began to grow. I even grew impatient for spam to arrive as the count approached more and more impressive figures. I stopped getting annoyed with stray spam messages that made it into my inbox; with a quick click of the ‘report spam’ button they became bonus points in the game of ‘how much spam can one person possibly recieve?’ The day it finally hit a thousand was an exciting milestsone (January 19th), and I could hardly wait to see how much more it would grow by the end of the 30 days.

After peaking at about 1750 messages on January 30th, the count dropped back down to just under 1700 and my spam baseline was officially established. Now every day instead of repeatedly cleaning out my spam folder and irately wishing the stupid thing would stay empty for 10 minutes, I just check out the count (1746 right now) to see whether it beats the current record. So far that’s been about 1850, but I think if I go feed my e-mail address to some sketchy-looking websites it might help boost my numbers. And if I get bored there’s always the possibility of sharing this liberating approach to spam with friends and then competing to see who can rack up more spam in the space of 30 days. Anyone up for a spam contest?