About the Colony

Quit trying to sell me stuff online — I’m not buying it

Tashalee Rodriguez of Boston uses a smartphone app while shopping at Macy’s in downtown Boston in 2012.
Tashalee Rodriguez of Boston uses a smartphone app while shopping at Macy’s in downtown Boston in 2012. The Associated Press

Last Friday morning, I did what has become routine for me upon waking. I checked my smartphone to see if I had any emails. I had 21. Not a single one was from someone I knew.

They were all aimed at getting me to spend money on everything from toys to jeep parts, electronics, shoes and more.

I suppose I shouldn’t complain, because at least I’m getting mail.

But it is getting out of control.

In addition to the unwanted emails, almost every time I push the home button on that same smartphone, I’m asked if I want to download tunes or some other service I have absolutely no use for.

If my phone is so smart, why hasn’t it figured out after almost 10 months of my punching the “cancel” button that I don’t want to buy tunes. I’ve never put an app or a song on my phone since I acquired it. I very rarely buy anything online. I like to walk out of a store with something in my hand.

I’ve finally learned that it is my own fault. When I have purchased things in the past, I’ve been asked for an email address and willingly provided it.

I’m beginning to get notices that begin with “We miss you, Lon Allan,” because there has been no activity on a credit card for such a long time.

I have to admit that the online shopping craze is here to stay. I feel sorry for those stick-built stores that lose sales to someone sitting at their home computer buying stuff.

I don’t even use drive-thru windows. I feel an obligation to walk inside a store. Nothing irks me more than to be, say, in the pharmacy waiting in line to pick up my prescription and the clerk is waiting on someone who is using the drive-thru window.

I don’t even use the drive-thru at my bank. The least I can do is walk into the bank to do my business. But, you guessed it: The teller is tied up waiting on the person using the drive-thru window.

Or it’s like waiting in the auto parts store to buy something while the clerk is on the phone with some guy trying to find a generator for his ’37 Buick.

Last Saturday was a day dedicated to shopping from the smaller, hometown merchants. If I had been in town, I probably would have joined that movement. But I was on the road trying to get back to Atascadero without being killed on the highway.

Lon Allan’s column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades and his column appears here every week. Reach Allan at 805-466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.