Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I'm sure you're like me, you hate spam!  Now, there are probably some of you that like the meat "Spam," ( I know I had my share of it when I was a kid), but what I'm talking about is that ubiquitous onslaught of email that clogs up inboxes and annoys the heck out of everyone.

A couple of weeks ago I lost my 12 year old hotmail account because someone hacked into it and started sending out spam messages to all of my contacts.  It's embarrassing and a real hassle to deal with.  I finally just copied my contacts and let the account die.

Since I've started blogging I've had issues off and on with spam.  Lately, it's been an avalanche.  Now that I have 3 blogs, I'm constantly checking and deleting.  The unfortunate thing is that I had to set up "anonymous" as "spam" so if you comment anonymously your comment won't show until I have the chance to go into the comments section and allow it to post.  It's a pain!

As usual, one annoying thing leads to another and I got to thinking about why spam bugs me so much.  For one thing a lot of it is obscene, (which is disgusting), but mostly it's just unwanted and unwelcomed communication.  So, "spam" doesn't just have to be an email, or a comment, or a tin of meat, it can be any kind of unwanted communication.

How many times have you been near a quilt at a quilt show only to overhear people making snarky comments about it, or little asides during a meeting, or a brazen barrage of critique and unwanted "advice" from another quilter?  We've all been victims of these kind of "spam" attacks.  It could be that people mean well, but frankly, attacking someone elses work, is never a good thing.  And those that want to offer unsolicited advice?  Who needs them.  If you want advice ask someone you trust who you know isn't there to bring you down but sincerely wants to help.

I can't tell you how many times I've encountered this kind of "spam."  As an artist I'm constantly being criticized for one thing or another.  "I don't like that color."  "Why didn't you put that over there instead?"  "You really need to work on your technique."   On, and on, and on.

For some reason, whenever you put your work out there others think they have a right to anaylize and criticize, when, really, all you want is to share what you made.  It can be daunting to a new or a less confident quilter.

OK, now I'm going to contribute a little "spam" of my own.  There's no way you're going to avoid making some people unhappy, or keep them from giving you unwanted advice, or even stop them from criticizing your work.   What you can do is be gracious, and then forget it.  Don't allow the spammers to control how you feel about yourself or your work.  Picture in your mind selecting and then deleting them, just like you'd delete spam from your email.

Oh, and while you're at it, maybe you can "unsubscribe" from a few as well.

Send them to the Recycle Bin!



Tizzie said...

I think it's a real shame that my kids don't really know what Spam is other than the email kind....

My mom used to make these Spam Dogs (?). The ultimate of recipes it is. Cheese Wiz was spread on hot dog buns. The Spam was sliced into strips and put in the buns with pimentos. She would wrap the buns in foil and warm up in the oven. I didn't mind eating them.

I remembered making them once or twice early in my marriage. My husband rarely complains about anything I make (because he knows what's good for him), but he put his foot down with the Spam Dogs.

Deb said...

On the other hand, my children LOVE spam (the alleged food). I occasionally "treat" them and buy it.

I agree with your definition of spam as unsolicited advice. I try to remember at quilt shows to make positive comments about the quilts I view...one never knows who might be near! And, since I am too much of a chicken to show my own work...I haven't subjected myself to other's comments.