Text me

Commentary

My cellphone beeps quietly when an incoming message comes through. It’s so discreet that I often don’t even hear it, much to my relief, to be honest with you. On the rare occasions that I don’t have the radio playing in my car — I find it hard to resist the daily crap that local stations broadcastreligiously — I may catch the end of my jazzy ringtone (key word: rare). Sure, I have, at times, stupidly rummaged through my bag while driving in an attempt to pick up on time, for once. But since my bad hearing goes hand-in-hand with my clumsiness, I thought it prudent to invest in a set of headphones.

On the up side of this, I’m more alert to incoming calls whilst driving. On the downside, I’m also aware of incoming text messages, which I occasionally read at red lights. Recently, I’ve been getting quite a number of messages, all of them from sources unknown to me. Mercedes texts me on a regular basis, Audi R8 has added me as a contact recently, NRG is a devoted spammer, BMW X5 ditto. Can someone please tell me what ever happened to privacy? I don’t even know how or when these companies acquired my number, but surely there must be a breach of privacy here? Whenever I sign up for something, I always make it a point to tick the box that says Do not spam me or so help you God! So what gives spammers?

A reasonable person might point me to a simple solution: these spammers are not really offending anyone since they offer a toll-free number at the bottom of every text message that allows you to be taken off the illegitimate list of cell numbers. Sure, I’ve noticed it! It’s a toll-free number that is always busy. In fact, I’m even questioning its validity because I’ve tried to call it every single time I get another chance to enter a mega-competition-or-else. It’s just useless.

If companies are not respecting individual right to privacy, or even offering the chance to defend my right by ticking the much-coveted box, why isn’t there a no-call / no-text registry in Cyprus? If I get one more spam message in the middle of the night, I think I’m going to give up on my cellphone altogether. Or life.

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