Tag Archives: email

Lying to the Apathetic

10 Sep

This is my passive-aggressive fight for freedom. I don’t hate the checkout clerk when they ask me what my phone number is. They don’t care, it’s their company who wants to know, and not to give you discounts. And there’s a way to fight back.

So I lie to people who couldn’t care less what the answer is. Their POS machine (point-of-sale, not piece-of-#$&*) tells them they have to enter their customers’ phone number and/or email. They can’t get past that screen without entering something. Now the better checkout clerks will just enter nine nines and get past that screen… but apparently that’s asking a lot of them, or their bosses lean on them to get that information, and it’s not worth their time stickin’ it to the man.

So that’s why I have my phone number ready… oh, not the one on my phone, the one I had for a landline I owned ten years ago. That’s why it’s easy to remember. It satisfies the POS machine, it satisfies their bosses, and it satisfies me… because no telemarketer is going to reach me on that number.

Junk email accounts are easier and more widespread. Believe it or not, I still check it every so often, because you never know when you’ll get a notification for something you actually want to buy. However, I created it as my junk account, so I have no worries giving it out. I do have to worry about the future of Yahoo being the repository of all these junk mail accounts.

However, this one is my particular favorite – the internet birthday. Feel free to post your birthday on social media… just not your correct one. My internet birthday is July 1st. It’s easy to remember because it’s close enough to the actual one for government work, but not enough to let anyone steal my identity, because otherwise most of the other information is up there. That way I still get all those birthday promotions at the beginning of that month and get past all those uncaring algorithms who just require something to fill in.

Android phones now have this option to “screen calls,” which shows you via text what’s being said to you, without actually having to listen to the telemarketer. It’s frickin’ awesome!

If you’re wondering why I bother, and you want to get really depressed about this topic, read Cathy O’Neil’s book Weapons of Math Destruction, which goes into exhaustive detail about what automatic computer algorithms do to us in every aspect of your life. I only got halfway before having to put it down because it was SO depressing.

However, how do you stick it to the man? What are your tricks for defeating the telemarketers, the electronic snoopers, and the threats to your privacy? Let me know in the comments – every little bit helps!

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