I was just frying up a can of SPAM the other day. You know the stuff - That canned meat food product that tries to resemble ham. The stuff that if sliced and fried, turns into a greasy mess. But, it does make a fine sandwich that way......on some toast with lettuce, mayo, and some onion.....it's actually edible.
But, that's not what I'm going to talk about. Okay RANT about. I'm talking about the seeming advertising strategy of annoyance. It's not just limited to your computer. Never has been. It's just been labeled as of the last decade or two as 'spam'.
Spam seems to have it's roots, at least in the US, in the 1950's. Billboards were the first actual instances of advertising by annoying it's potential customers. Billboards became such a problem, and an eyesore, that their use became almost regulated out of existence. They were literally a fence miles long, uninterrupted, of ads from pop, to automobiles, to tobacco, to shaving cream. They didn't care if they were annoying you, as long as you knew the name of their product.
Through the years, TV has always been a prime source of spam. "Infomercials" they were dubbed, and they usually were the ones who "brought you" an old western on sunday afternoons. You watched ten minutes of movie, and fifteen minutes of commercial about their adjustable beds. We accepted this spam, because after all.....It was free to recieve the signal, and I suppose they had to pay for it somehow.
Telemarketers were also of the infomercial era. They were also spam. We pay the phone company for our telephone number. We give out that number for certain things, and the companies that have this number often sold it to telemarketing agencies. It was a shady deal, and we finally got the protection we deserve.
Today, we have the internet. We are paying for this service, largely (exception being certain cities that have city-wide free WiFi). Many of us are paying for our email accounts. That's why I suppose There is such a stink over intrusive emails we don't want. We go to a site to get something "for free", and give up our email addy.....and get piles and piles of crap. If we have to endure getting spammed.....is it really free?
I'm glad to see that spammers are next on the hit list of regulation. They've had free reign for long enough.
Next, How about the spam we get on cable? When it first came out, cable was so desireable because there were no commercials. You paid a monthly fee, and you got commercial free broadcasting. Your subscription fee paid for the service, and there was no need for commercials. Most of these channels worked side by side with regular over the air broadcasters, so the studios could pay their staff, and profit by the advertising that was pushed on those who got TV for free.
Not anymore. Now, Infomercials on cable have hit primetime.......and latenight.......and mornings. If we only saw ads for a bellows egg peeler once an hour, it wouldn't be so bad. Or if we only saw an ad for "five free CD's (just $6.95)", or "one free tutorial CD (same company, same $6.95 to ship ONE CD that it cost so ship FIVE.....)" just once an hour.....it might be tolerable. It would be better to not see spam at all. After all, I am PAYING A MONTHLY FEE for this service. Why should I be annoyed? Even on digital cable, which is a premium ON TOP OF the premium I'm already paying, I get just as much spam....just not as much variety.
All I know is I am sick of paying big money to watch just as much spam as my favorite shows. I swear, I am going to snap if I see one more commercial trying to get me to get their credit card....followed by an ad to use that card....followed by an ad to get me out of debt that I incurred. I am REALLY going to snap if I see another ad for my local cable company telling me how 'great' their service is.