In the 80s, an application for a job, for example, would routinely elicit a written reply - even if only a one-liner - to invite for interview or to say "thanks, but no thanks". As businesses sought to reduce costs, it was understandable that such practices fell by the wayside in later pre-electronic days.
However, that has seemingly carried on into the digital age and I can't, for the the life of me, work out why.
Replying to an e-mail takes seconds. It requires no cost whatsoever, and is surely common courtesy. You don't want to write anything major yourself? Fine, but considering e-mail has already dispensed with 'Dear ...' and 'Yours ...' it really shouldn't be too difficult to politely acknowledge receipt. A one-liner, or even one-worder would suffice. Auto-generated replies are even more effortless.
Still, each to their own and I'm not one to decide rules for e-mail conversations, except ...
... we all hate spam, obviously, but how much effort is it really to delete it? The time and effort taken is remarkably minute. Anyone who can control a mouse is able to banish unwanted mail in a fraction of a second. What's more, there isn't even the need to lift more than a muscle on one's clicking finger. You can delete at your heart's content without taking your feet off the desk/secretary/cat. Receiving acres of it is irritating, but with spam filters, junk mail boxes, marking e-mails as acceptable etc., the phenomenon is not that great a deal.
But, again, if spam truly hacks you off, it's quite understandable.
What I really can't fathom, though, is what mind-blowingly, instantly-irritated, preciouses can have led to the routine disclaimer on many a circular e-mail of "If you no longer wish to receive messages from us, click here".
Yes, it simplifies the process, but you just know (in fact, I know for certain) that someone, somewhere, has spent a great deal of time complaining about receiving a message they didn't wish to read and, instead of deleting it in a second, or politely notifying the sender that it is not required, decided instead to make a big fuss and spent a hell of a lot of time vehemently complaining about it. Just their doing so has eaten up more time than it would take to delete 4 or 5 years of daily 'updates'.
If it is that annoying, it shouldn't be too hard to send your own reply notifying the sender that you're not happy with receiving what they consider a life-enhancing message, or you can just add them to your banned list. Especially since the majority of such e-mailed updates have, at some point, been generated by the receiver on using a service or actively contacting the sender.
It strikes me that the "If you no longer wish to receive ..." signature is merely another sop to those in our society who decide they have a right to not only not be offended, but to not even be inconvenienced for more than a nanosecond.
OK. It's just me, then.