In my last post I talked about why it's so important to remember that we are doing business and communicating with people just like us. In it I wrote:

"… we are now a dislocated society. Because we don't literally "run into each other" anymore, why bother with manners and courtesy? The flamers who attacked me in 1993 knew there was literally no way I would ever confront them in person. Add to that the fact most of them posted their inflammatory remarks anonymously and we now have a new ballgame. Dislocation has given all of us the power and permission to be jerks. We say things digitally we would never say in person. We see boorish behavior from others online as acceptable."

Case in point. On Sunday I sent an email to 225 readers asking them to confirm that they wanted to receive emails from me. All of these people had subscribed online, but had never double opted-in. In addition, every one of them had been a regular reader of my blog (I knew this by their click-through activity.)

My email was brief. I thanked them for being readers and asked them to confirm they wanted to continue to receive my emails. I also added a sentence saying they could instantaneously unsubscribe at any time by clicking the Unsubscribe button at the bottom. That was it.

Almost everybody has clicked to confirm. I've had 2 unsubscribes. But I also had one person report me as a spammer with the reason being "too frequent emails." I checked her record and found I'd sent a total of three emails in the last four months.

This is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. We do and say things online that we would never do in person. What possible reason did I give her to label me as a spammer? And based on her past behavior of voluntarily subscribing and voluntarily clicking through over one year of emails, how would I know in advance that I might offend her?

I don't want you to unsubscribe, but if you don't want to receive my emails, then please do. No hard feelings. I unsubscribe from lists, too. 

I've been using InfusionSoft as my email service for over a year now and I'm switching to AWeber. Besides the fact that InfusionSoft is too expensive, they also make it very easy for someone to label you as a spammer. When someone clicks to unsubscribe, it automatically takes them to a page that asks is they want to label you as a spammer. That's stupid on InfusionSoft's part. No other service I'm aware of makes it so temptingly easy to do that. It gives mean people an opening to be mean.

Of course, if you are getting spammed, truly spammed, then stand up against them. But don't be like her. If you want to unsubscribe from a list and they haven't done you any harm, be civil about it.

Oh and by the way, this same thing applies to responding to real people sending you real requests, just like I wrote about in my post, Please Don't Be As Ignorant As Banner Bank. As much as a couple of readers said I overreacted…made a mountain out of a mole hill…should have been thrilled to get a response rather than be ignored…should have cut the guy some slack…was way off base…I stand by what I said. That guy's online behavior was uncalled for and disrespectful…just like the woman who said I spammed her.