Today I received an email from inviting me to join Hi 5. At first I hoped that they wanted me to join the kids band, so imagine my disappointment when I opened the message and it contained the following:
Come join my network at hi5!
I now have over 42 friends in my network! You can meet all of them, plus more than 20 million other Hi5 members! Once you join, you will immediately be connected to all the people in my circle of friends.
Hi5 is an online service that lets you meet new people, view photos, browse profiles, and chat with your friends.
I’ll see you inside,
Normally I would just say this is standard junk mail ame forget about it, but the name seemed to ring a bell, but only vaguely. After a quick search of my pre-gmail archives I discovered that the source of the email was a member of my group for Marketing at uni. Of course, this was the group member that left after being in the group for one week.
So not only was this one of the people who was exploiting my ability to actually communicate using the English language, but they were building a database of email addresses so that they may pretend to have “42” friends. I met this person once, and it was more of a “look, he’s the only white guy in the room and he seems to know what the hell is going on, let’s nab him for our group and have him do the assignment for us”. Certainly not a “Hi, my name is Chi, what’s yours? That’s interesting. Hey do you want to join our group?”
Now if people are beginning to think that there are racial undertones coming through, you might be right. But my real problem is that I am paying for a post graduate course and I get lumped with people who essentially can’t read or write and barely grasp the subject anyway.
I’m not being harsh, just realistic. In an Australian University I shouldn’t have to spend group time correcting basic grammar and throwing out huge paragraphs for the simple reason that they make no sense. Well, not at post graduate level. I hope medicine is better.
So, because of this blatant mis-use of my email address I am going to adopt a new system for my medical studies (which, fingers crossed, will start next year). All people will need to sign a form to say they won’t send me any emails unrelated to the course material unless otherwise solicited. Alternatively I can give people a provisional address and if they don’t screw with it after a year, they receive a more permanent address (if they still need to communicate with me).
Alternatively I could simply list the email addresses of all violators on a special site and encourage spammers to use it, or better yet, sell the list (although the legalities of that is questionable).