Replying to Scam Emails – The Illusion of Wasting Time
First off, some IMT…
-Spam/scam emails do not come by chance. The spam/scammer found a way through the filter and/or found a way to find a list of emails that had yours on it.
-Your unique set of skills and abilities only allow you to do what you are able to do.
-You will only do what you have within yourself to do. Every event that you take place in is unique to you.
-Influence and Control do not apply.
-People can decide for and control their own lives.
At first I really wondered why they let James Veitch, who seemed like a stand-up comedian, give a TED talk. Then I realized that he ultimately targets the main IMT points above. While he doesn’t mention them, there is no other way his interactions with the scammers would have taken place (IMT 1). Veitch makes comical interactions with each scammer (IMT 2) not just for the laughs, but to waste their time. Why? Veitch says that “Any time they’re spending with me is time they’re not spending scamming vulnerable adults out of their savings”. This also means that he is spreading awareness of spam / scam emails to adults that don’t have experience in emailing, and is also helping adults avoid decision making by making them realize that they don’t have to act when a scammer tries to get thousands of dollars wired from the victim.
Here’s the thing though, at any point in every scammers’ time they can choose not to respond, but instead they keep going with protocol and attempt to swindle Veitch to grab his money. This ultimately means that even though Veitch has been constantly wasting their time, and the scammers haven’t seen results, they are not being influenced or controlled in any way, and choose to continue to try to scam him (IMT 4 / 5).
So the question then comes, does wasting time really exist? Say that a janitor is off duty, and sees a spill on a nearby table, or a large pile of trash nearby and decides to clean it up does this mean it’s a waste of time? For him, he is simply doing what is in his nature of ensuring that the place he is at looks and feels sanitary, but for the people using that area, he is preventing accidents and making an area hygienically usable again. Would you have an interaction around trash? Would you eat on a table that had a spill? Similarly Veitch is ensuring that no garbage reaches your mailbox because he’s wasting the scammer’s time, and he is therefore making your mailbox usable because there is no clutter or spill of spam emails. What that ultimately means is, no matter what you do in life, as long as it’s something you know it’s something only you will and can do, you will always be contributing towards yourself and others.
Next question, what about doing things that are selfish and towards yourself, i.e. scrolling down Facebook to get a quick laugh, watching “pointless videos” on Youtube, or perhaps you were simply reading fantasy/fiction which has no knowledgeable or literary benefits? The answer is a series of questions:
-Who interacts with you? Everyone you’re around.
-Who experiences your mood and company? Everyone you’re around.
-Therefore, who is affected by you? Everyone you’re around.
So by doing these seemingly selfish acts, you are ultimately setting the initial conditions (and thus final conditions of the outcome of the interaction) of who you are in the next event that you are with anyone else. This means that in that event, by doing that “pointless” act, you may feel happy from the hilarious video you just saw, and decide to share your joy with those you act with. Or you may be completely depressed that you just “wasted” so much time doing whatever you just did, so you set the seriousness or down in the dump mood for your next interaction. IMT would say in either case, that both interactions, as the actor, your value in the role did not change, because every actor plays a part in the event. Thus, no matter if it’s selfish, or for someone else, there is no such thing as wasting time since you always affect the people around you. So, just be You, there is no time to waste.