Spam is an unfortunate fact of life. It takes less than a second to delete, but its psychological impact can last MINUTES — a lifetime in Internet terms. Why? You see the little email Icon on your phone and think that this could be *that* email—the one from the job you applied to, the one from the girl you liked in college wanting to get back in touch, or what have you. But it’s not. It’s just…spam, emotionally crippling spam.
But there’s more than one kind of spam. And each variety has a unique impact on the mind. Some send your psyche down into the depths of dementia, while others send it careening with mania.
1. Twitter Spam
There are several categories among “twitter spam,” each of which will be examined since, unlike the other social networks, each different kind of twitter-email evokes a different response. In general, twitter spam isn’t QUITE as bad as others but you know the adage about how bad sex still isn’t that bad? Spam is kind of similar, good spam still isn’t that good.
Twitter “Suggestions” Spam
Gee, twitter, you might as well have titled this email “We have a list of people who are way more important and way cooler than you will ever be. If you follow some of these people MAYBE their awesomeness will rub off on you but probably not.” This is not a fun email to get.
“Somebody Followed You” Spam
This seems like it’d be a happy email but, in the context of thinking you got a *really* important email, it’s a letdown. Great, some spambot followed you. And if it’s not a spambot, it’s someone who will unfollow in a few days anyway. This email just reminds you of the fact that you’re so pathetic that some random person following you on a social network is kind of a big deal—and that’s depressing.
“Somebody Interacted With You” Spam
Twitter sends out emails when someone RTs you, mentions you, or favorites a tweet of yours. These emails don’t really evoke any emotion other than frustration. Yeah, twitter, I know someone mentioned me because I have a twitter app on my phone and I checked the mentions. Thanks for spamming me though!
2. Facebook Spam
All of the spam from Facebook elicits the same emotional reaction: Depression. Yes, all of your friends have better lives than you and significant others and good jobs. Fuck you.
3. LinkedIn Spam
This is the worst of all kinds of spam.
Alright, a new email in your inbox, maybe it’s the one you’ve been waiting for—the life-changing one! Oh no…it’s just LinkedIn telling you that it’s found more jobs for you…jobs that you’re either overqualified for or under-experienced for. Jobs that you don’t want, but need, and can’t get! Sucks to be you, doesn’t it? Aren’t you glad that LinkedIn email came along to remind you?
4. Tumblr Spam
Tumblr spam didn’t used to be so bad but since Yahoo acquired Tumblr, the emails just haven’t been the same.
Yay, another Tumblr follower for you! Too bad Tumblr will be a digital corpse in a few years after Yahoo ruins it, making your follower and the spam email about it meaningless.
5. Finance Related Spam
Credit card payment is coming up, student loan payment is past due.
I take it back about LinkedIn spam being the worst. These are way more horrible. You open your inbox thinking it’ll be some glimmer of hope and then BAM, you get sucked into the bleakness of reality: You made shitty choices and owe a lot of money now. Fuck.
6. Shopping Spam
Macy’s is having another one day sale (that, for some reason, lasts two days)? Cool. Too bad I’m totally broke and still can’t afford any of the clothes there. Thanks for reminding me how little money I have, Macy’s!
7. Newsletter Spam
Here’s a list of content created by a group of people who actually have careers…and talent…and a future. Thanks for giving us some pageviews!
Though I acknowledge and appreciate the differences in human experiences, and while your heartbreak is (and always will be) uniquely and completely your own, I must urge you to consider that I have been where you are.