After reading Dan Mitchell’s essay, “Vonnegut Speech’ Circulated the Net” I realized a lot of things regarding the internet. One of these realizations is about the excess of spam that we receive thru electronic mail, and I think most of us can relate to that. We dislike the ever-repeating mails on weight loss programs, car insurance, lottery advertisements and many more, as it clogs our inboxes and bulk mails. But despite all these, we still continue to use the internet for sharing other things, from photos, to jokes, and even prayers to those we know are close to us. So as long as we avail the services of the internet, we would always encounter annoyances like the occurrence of spam mails. This is partly because the internet gives us the “freedom” to do anything we like, regardless of how it could affect other people.Spamming in the context of the internet and electronic media refers to the abuse of electronic messaging systems such as the electronic mails and instant messaging to indiscriminately send and spread unwanted and unsolicited bulk messages.
The most common form of spam is the electronic mail (e-mail) spam, but spamming could also refer to instant messaging spam, newsgroups and web search engines spam, mobile phone messaging spam, web forums spam, and junk fax transmissions. Unintentional subscription to any of these spammers could instantly fill your inbox with unwanted mails, some truthful and some are fraud, in just a matter of days. It could come from only one source or from a wide array of sources such as magazines, car sellers, and more. These spam mails and messages to the unknowing victim would greatly vary, depending on the purpose (Lynch, 2002).But why would there be spam e-mails spreading all throughout the internet? What could be their purpose in pestering the lives of innocent web-goers, internet surfers, and especially the unknowing first time users? There are actually several types of spam according to its purpose, as well as its source. One is the unsolicited bulk e-mail which is sent in large quantities.
These are like regular mails with certain content, but this is sent to a large number of recipients. Another type is the unsolicited commercial e-mail. This type mainly aims to advertise a real or sometimes fictitious product in order to earn money. Lastly, spam mails could be fraudulent e-mail messages which have a sender with forged identities, and their purpose is to scam an unknowing internet victim. This is internet theft at its highest, benefiting from the people who give out their bank accounts and credit cards through unsecured procedures in the internet (Raz, 2005).
Basing on these facts, we can then raise the question: why would these occurrences be possible? Why are we tolerating these spammers to thrive in the internet, especially now that more and more people are using it? Well, to put it short, the internet is a very conducive place to breed scammers, thieves, and other wrong doers, benefiting from these spam mails and messages. As a response to Dan Mitchell’s article, I could say that a strongly agree with what Mary Schmich’s said: “At newspapers, things like this have to go through a barrier before they go out to the world, but [on the internet] anybody can put anybody’s name on anything.” This means that we are partly responsible for this occurrence, and that the existence of this spam mails and messages are greatly inevitable. As some people gain amusement from sharing memorable photos, unforgettable experiences, and funny jokes, there would also be people who gain amusement (as well as benefit) from sending unsolicited mails to a large number of recipients.Looking at Dan Mitchell’s essay on the spread of Vonnegut’s speech, we can say that spamming can really alter reality as well as destroy the integrity of a person (Thinksmart.com, 2000). With a rumor on this false speech given by Vonnegut, we can say spam mails or messages don’t have to make sense at all.
We associate spamming to those evil doers – thieves, frauds, and many more, but we overlook one thing, people such as ourselves can also be spammers. If we find something amusing, such as the Vonnegut speech, our tendency is to share it with other people within our reach, namely, the people whose addresses are in our contacts list. There are a lot of spam messages which are spread daily, some of which are full blown, affecting thousands, even millions of internet users’ world wide. But we overlook the spam messages or mails that we send out of good nature.
Photos shared through mails may or may not be appreciated by some of your recipients. To them, what you sent is just a spam, an utter annoyance which in the end they’ll have to delete in order to have a clean looking mailbox. The point that I’m trying to establish is that spam mails or messages just like the Vonnegut speech may be considered as spam when it has already spread to a great number of people, but the purpose of sending it may or may not be un-spam-like. But because of the rapid sharing ability of the internet, mails and messages sent may be interpreted by others. The content, as well as the sender and the receiver should be taken into consideration when we talk about spam.I firmly agree with what Dan Mitchell and Mary Schmich wrote about the internet, spam messages and mails. One manifestation of this is the Vonnegut speech, a strong proof that people have the freedom to post or write anything in the internet, regardless of their intention as well as the influence that could affect other people.
References:Lynch, K. (2002). Timeline of spam related terms and concepts. Retrieved April 9, 2008, from http://keithlynch.net/spamline.htmlRaz, U.
(2005). How do spammers harvest email addresses? Retrieved April 9, 2008, from http://www.private.
org.il/harvest.htmlThinksmart.com. (2000). Things to Do. Retrieved April 9, 2008, from http://www.thinksmart.com/2/todo/speechsong.html