The Paradox of Valuing an Email But Having to Leave it Behind

What happens when you have to give your email address in order to get your food? One of today's digital paradoxes.

Here’s an interesting paradox of digital life:

Email is crucially vital for communication.

Ordering a single Chipotle (or insert any other biz) order online means having to give ur precious email. & “opts u in”.

Being at brunt of 1,000,000 spam email messages.

So I ask you:




I know what you’re thinking.


But how can you? Dropping an email behind will typically set off a digital nuclear reaction that occurs behind the scenes, away from your eyeballs. Forces at play are completely beyond your control, as your previous email is now released into the greedy hands of whatever business has paid that initial business off. We all know that email addresses are the social currency of today.

Sure, I can hit that “unsubscribe” at the bottom of the email Chipotle will likely send me and be immediately rid of any future correspondence from them (we won’t go into the issues of companies that continue sending you spam, even after you’ve unsubscribed!). But you haven’t even touched the other companies they’ve contracted with, handing over your email behind the scenes in exchange for a “deal”.

The same goes for anything medical. When I join any newsletter these days, or join a medical organization, I cringe at the possibility that my precious email address will be shared with others.

I sometimes even wonder aloud what that single “opt in” has cost me. I joke with myself that the ratio could, hypothetically, be a thousand to one; a la a thousand companies receiving my email to the one newsletter to which I’ve just subscribed.

And that’s how it happens, folks. That is how we gradually become commodities, in a digital world that’s evolving and slowly replacing the real one.


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