My personal Gmail account has turned into a monster of epic proportions. The majority of emails I receive are automated newsletters or advertisements that I had signed up for at some point in time due to their useful nature. They are not useful, however, when clogging up my inbox. I tried to filter them, label them, contain them within the account in some manner, but my irritation didn’t cease. So finally I decided to create a new Gmail account, solely for newsletters, advertisements, notifications, etc.
“Oh yeah, I did that a while ago” one of my friends said when I mentioned my idea. Better late than never, I suppose.
Between classes, I tackled the hairy mess sitting in my Gmail account. I switched subscription emails for Facebook, Twitter, Gilt, Barnes and Noble, and PhD Comics. For Groupon (a coupon service catered to your location) I decided to unsubscribe completely and resubscribe with my new address. Somehow that seemed like the faster route.
So I went to Groupon, hit ‘Unsubscribe’ and then laughed out loud (or as near to it as I could in the campus computer commons):
Absentmindedly I clicked “Punish Derrick” and a short clip played showing a co-worker coming in and teasing, then pouring a glass of water on Derrick. Did I laugh? Yes. Did I feel a slight twinge of guilt because I had unsubscribed? Yes. Was this ploy engineered by Groupon successful and clever? Again, I say yes.
What I liked about the whole Derrick situation was that it put a human face on the “bots” sending out those often annoying daily emails. For a brief second I felt a bond to Derrick, for I too have a job where I must do what I’m told despite people trying to undermine my efforts. And all of this made me more willing to resubscribe to Groupon. I believe this goes to show that no matter how technology driven our society is or how advanced our media becomes, without the human aspect the picture will be incomplete.