Spam: The Unethical Email Phenomenon Essay

2803 words - 11 pages

SPAM: The Unethical Email Phenomenon

It's what's for breakfast.

As I wake from my deep sleep of twelve hours, I step out of bed and go about my daily summer routine. I wash my face and peruse through the fridge for something to eat; its noon, meaning the mail is in. I step out of the house to check the mailbox. I’ve always looked forward to receiving the mail, as most people do until they are old enough to pay the bills. I bring back the mail to the dining table as I commence to eat the leftover SPAM my mom cooked and hope for a magazine or catalog to look at. As I sift through the hoard of envelopes at my disposal, I sort them into their respective categories: “Bill, bill, junk mail, letter, junk mail, letter, catalog, bill, junk mail, magazine!” I toss out all the junk mail and keep the stuff I really am going to read: the sports catalog and car magazine. After finishing breakfast, I head back to my room and turn on my computer, log onto the internet and check my yahoo email inbox.

As I log into my account, I notice the glowing red warning that my inbox is at 101% capacity. I receive 8 new emails, 5 of which are obvious junk mail, 2 mysterious emails addressed to my name, and another email which I was expecting from a teacher. I immediately delete the obvious SPAM which I have trained myself to notice right away after years of internet use, then spend time to open and view both mysterious emails which also turn out to be SPAM. After all that energy is spent, I am finally able read my teacher's important e-mail. Remembering that my inbox is blinking red, I delete the bulk mail folder that yahoo has graciously provided as a SPAM filter, which holds 94 new SPAM emails, then finally empty out my email trash. Luckily, I am back down to 95% capacity in my inbox. After much effort, my email account is again barely under full capacity thanks to the deletion of over 100 unwanted emails. This is only after checking my email 12 hours earlier. Without checking my email for a few days, I could easily accumulate hundreds upon hundreds of SPAM emails. As opposed to traditional snail mail, marketing companies are able to send out billions of emails to unsuspecting internet user a day at fraction of the cost. It is much easier and expedient to communicate through email than traditional mail, creating an exceedingly apparent effect on today’s society. Would you appreciate it if your house’s mailbox was brimming with 200 pieces of junk mail each day? Some with misleading packaging, having to sort through it just to find that one electric bill that you have been expecting? With millions of internet users across the world, SPAM email is a powerful marketing tool capable of impacting millions, but also proving to be a nuisance for most users.

Ethical Issues

It is as if I am up watching cable television at 2:37AM with nothing better on than a plethora of infomercials touting amazing “as-seen-on-TV” products. I come across e-mail that is...

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