A follow-up to my recent post about the Internet. Here’s what happened today.
I have been subscribed to a particular site through the oh-so-popular subscription service, Constant Contact.
This morning I realized I no longer wanted to be on the mailing list, so I scrolled down to the “unsubscribe” link to “safely unsubscribe.” Easy enough. I clicked and a screen came up showing my email address for confirmation and asking why I wanted to unsubscribe. There were several choices – their choices – including “other reason.” But the entire screen was labeled (Optional).
Now in my dictionary, “optional” means just what it says. Do it or don’t do it – my choice.
So I simply clicked the “unsubscribe” button – but wait. The Internet master speaks and says I have to give one reason or another for leaving. I can’t unsubscribe until I do that. This sounds a lot like a bad break-up. Why? Why? Why?
And like a bad break-up, I didn’t want to (a) lie and make something up or (b) go into all the reasons like I hated the way you licked your knife and flirted with waitresses, so to appease the Internet master, I just clicked “other reason” (it’s not you, it’s me) and said nothing.
Clicked the “unsubscribe” button again – but wait. What fresh hell is this? Another message – I have to say something. I have to put something in that box. I’m halfway out the door and the break-up is still not happening. I HAVE to say something before I can unsubscribe. Look, I didn’t sign on for this kind of thing. Just let me take my computer and my photo album and my plants and get the hell out of here.
But nooo. Stop grabbing at me as I’m trying to get out the door. Stop pleading and telling me it will be better in the future. Stop asking me to lie or make things up.
Because I had no more time for this relationship and am so done with Constant Contact, and because I know I’m just a blank-faced marketing algorithm to them, I used their bloody little box that I HAD to fill in before I could get out the door.
I used it to tell them how bad their unsubscribe process was and that if they say something is “Optional,” it had damned well better be optional and not some fakey-jake ploy to get more marketing information from me.
Imagine going into a store and being blocked at the exit to fill out a form before you could leave telling the marketing department why you didn’t like the shoes you tried on. I’m serious. Imagine that. This is what the Internet masters are asking us to do. And I’m still the sworn enemy.
It’s the little things that can grind a person down. No relationship can tolerate constant contact. Viva, the truly Optional.