In one week, I received 68 promotional emails.
68 invitations to spend money.
68 attempts to convince me I’d be better off if I clicked that link and punched in my credit card info.
It’s funny, I don’t feel like I subscribe to that many offers. I’ve got Groupon and Living Social, a couple clothing stores I like, and TravelZoo, which probably just points to the fact that each of these companies knows that if they send me stuff all. the. time. eventually, I will cave and buy something from them. It’s just a matter of numbers.
And to these companies, I AM a number. A statistic in their calculations about frequency of offers and odds that I will click their links. A data supplier to help them know what kinds of subject lines will make me more likely to open an email, what kinds of promos will make me more likely to go to the website, and what kind of time I need to spend on the site in order to add something to my cart.
Somehow, letting all the offers collect en masse created a visual for me that made it easier to say no to them. Right now, I spend a lot of time looking at a screen, killing time while the baby eats. And I love that distraction, but it can be easy, sitting alone as the minutes tick by, to feel a bit lonely, and to hope the internet will ease that a bit.
But I cannot ask an online sale to be my friend.
I don’t want to live in the world of numbers. I want to live in the world of relationships. I want to be shaped by experiences and conversations. I want to connect with day to day life.
And this month continues to remind me that I can do that for free, if I choose.