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A Guide To Getting My Life Back By Opting Out And Unsubscribing

Updated on January 10, 2011


Some people use the spring to do their cleaning. They open all their windows and do those types of cleaning that are normally reserved (or avoided) except once or twice a year. But as the New Year began this year I became increasingly annoyed at how many advertising emails I was deleting each day. I would open up my inbox thinking that I was popular by seeing that I had so many emails only to find out that out of the thirty that were in my inbox; only about ten of them were actual emails from anyone I knew or cared about. While there were the usual spam emails telling me that I had won some foreign lottery, could increase my penis size by clicking on the link or find some nice single Christians to date, most of the emails were from places I’d purchased online at one point telling me about thigh high boots on sale at Nordstrom (don’t ask) or a new cheesy something or other at Pizza Hut. Finally, I had had enough and so I took it upon myself one Saturday to calmly take an hour or two and get rid of all of the clutter from my inbox and to ensure that it stayed clean, I took the ultimate step of actually preventing future email clutter. A guide to getting my life back by opting out and unsubscribing – Don’t Get Me Started!

The first email I came across was from ebags (I had ordered a suitcase from them three years ago and ever since was receiving one to three emails a week from them) I opened the email, downloaded the pictures and wondered if I could survive without receiving notifications from them. “Hmmm,” I pondered, “I do love me some office supplies and luggage, could I possibly miss a sale on something I couldn’t live without by unsubscribing?” My hand shaking over the mouse in indecision, I firmly gripped the mouse, found the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email and clicked. As if by magic my Internet Explorer opened and within seconds there I was, on the ebags unsubscribe webpage. Just one more click and I would save myself the seconds I spent each week deleting emails from ebags. “Click” I was free (only to discover a pop up appear letting me know that it would take up to ten business days before I was completely rid of these emails). Still, I was on my way. From that first unsubscribe I grew more and more powerful as I got rid of all of the food websites. No more emails from Papa John’s or Pizza Hut (both of which I had only ordered online once from and then continued to receive emails from them weekly). Next it was the “I all ready get your catalog don’t need emails from you people.” The more I unsubscribed/opted out, the better I felt.

That’s when it dawned on me; sure you can “opt out” of your electronic life on a weekend by shutting off your phone or not logging into your computer or something but what about all of the wasted seconds that become minutes, hours and days that you spend deleting what should never have been there in the first place? And if I could so easily get rid of that unwanted clutter in my electronic life by simply “opting out” what else could I “opt out” of in other aspects of my life? I’m Jewish so I have guilt about almost everything, could I “opt out” or “unsubscribe” from this? I pictured an imaginary mouse in my head, I opened up the email with the subject title, “Jewish Guilt” and scrolled down the page until I could find the “unsubscribe” link, and there it was, just like it had been on all the other emails. I clicked on the link and inside my head an “Internal Explorer” instead of Internet Explorer opened up and I could see what a waste of time all of the guilt had been. I didn’t have regret at the time wasted because after all I must have purchased something from the guilt store at one point or another that I had really wanted, I just felt great as I “opted out” of the Jewish Guilt emails that constantly flooded the inbox that was my head. Wow, this was working and made sense to me. Was this like that “Secret” visualization thing that Oprah and everyone was talking about years ago that I never bothered to read or had I discovered my own secret? Next up were all the “Anger” emails. One quick visualized click and I could feel my emotional inbox emptying out and just like my computer; my processor was suddenly able to run a little faster and more efficiently once all these unwanted items and fragments had been deleted.

I was starting to really get the hang of this emotional purging when it dawned on me there were some emotional “favorite places” in my “Internal Explorer” that needed to be deleted. They had “broken links” (you know, like when you are mad at someone but you forget the original cause yet you still hold onto the feeling of anger) where there was once something I cared about on this “page” there was nothing there and it was time the link was deleted. “Click” and done.

I “unsubscribed,” “opted out” and “deleted” a lot that day and while I understand that like my computer I will need to do this from time to time, I’m going to try and remember how great it felt to purge myself of all the stuff that wastes not only my electronic life’s time but more importantly my personal life’s time and emotions and make the commitment to empty my recycle bin, that holds onto things I thought I’d gotten rid of long ago (deleting things permanently) more often than I had in the past. Look, I’m not saying this will work for everyone but it sure worked for me. A guide to getting my life back by opting out and unsubscribing – Don’t Get Me Started!

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    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 6 years ago

      GREAT Hub GREAT Scott!

      Really well written! Thank you!

      GREAT minds think alike! I spent Saturday opting out of all the social media sites I didn't join in the first place!

      Plus, I use to opt out of receiving catalogs I never have purchased from as well!

      Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, we should all do this and breathe a collective sigh of relief!!

      Blessings to you both! EarthAngel!

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      I did the same thing. I must have been subscribed to half the department stores in the United States and a couple in other countries. It was ridiculous.

      I'm still trying to get off Fredericks of Hollywood's email list. They keep sending me an email saying I'm not subscribed and then the very next day I have another one.

      I may have to call and give them a piece of my mind and I don't have any to spare.

      It is nice to not have so many in my inbox every morning.