If you are a fellow minimalist, I'm sure you feel my pain. You try to keep your email inbox clean, only to get spam. And you try to have boundaries with your cell phone, only to pick up and hear a recording trying to sell you crap. Finally, you try to go paperless, only to find your mailbox full of ads from stores where you don't even shop. I may be the only one, but honestly, I think unwanted emails, phone calls and mail should be illegal. It's a violation of privacy.
EMAIL: Each time we get an email that I don't want, I try to find a way to unsubscribe. Most times it works, at least from normal companies like LLBean or Lowes. But every now and then, we get emails from companies we've never heard of, offering us products we don't even want. And don't get me started on the emails where I apparently inherited a billion dollars. How are these people getting my information? I mean, I know there are ways and those tricksters figure it out. And I know all I have to do is unsubscribe or hit delete. But, it's my email account and I feel like I should be the one who decides who has that address.
PHONE: I used to always pick up my cell when it rang because I was worried that someone I knew was trying to reach me and I just didn't have their number stored. But, after that never happened, I now know it's just spam and if someone truly needs me, they will leave me a message or find another way to contact me. So, my new thing has been to go to that caller's information and hit "Block Contact". You know what they do? They just call from another number and another and another. No matter how many times I block a caller, that company still figures out a way to call me. Same as email, I feel that this isn't right. This is my phone number. I pay for my service and I think that I should be the one who decides what people or companies have my number.
MAIL: Snail mail has pretty much gone out of fashion, so my mailbox is usually filled with statements, bills and junk mail. Ironman and I just set everything up to come digitally, instead of through home mailing address, so that should improve things slightly! And each time I get unwanted mail from a company, I contact them and ask to be removed from their contact lists, so that helps too. But, you know what you can't stop? Junk mail, bulk mail, advertisements or whatever you want to call it. I tried contacting one company and they said that I had to contact the post office. I contacted the post office and they said that I had to contact the company. Went back to the company and they said, nope, it has to be done through the post office. So, even though I don't want that mail and never asked for it, I can't stop receiving it. Just like with the email and phone, I just feel like that is so wrong! This is my home and my mailing address and I should be able to choose who has that information.
Call me crazy, but I think this isn't right. My email address, phone number and home mailing address are mine. If I don't want emails, calls, advertisements, offers, coupons, junk or spam or whatever, I should be able to stop them from coming. Ironman says it's no big deal: delete it, don't answer it, throw it away. Solves all the problems. Sure, I can do that. But, it's the principle of it all. I like living simply, cutting out clutter in all areas of my life and trying to keep things in check. And even though I can recycle the junk mail, doesn't that seem like a contradiction? Why can't I just stop it from coming all together...seems like a much better way to take care of the environment.
As a minimalist, these 3 areas tend to drive me crazy. And as a frequent traveler, the home mailings leave me wondering what to do. What do all you traveling minimalists do? I want a better option than just asking friends and family to pick up junk mail for me every day...