More Internet Foolishness... 8:06 a.m. 2003-04-03

A couple of months ago, I received an e-mail - probably from the principal's secretary - that was decorated with a beautiful scene of some sort. It had a little message at the bottom that said "Add color to your e-mail..."

Well, of course, I am the perfect candidate for that! I love color! I love to have unique things to send out to other people. But I resisted.

I was doing great until yesterday, when I received a lovely e-mail with cherry blossoms scattered on it. Suddenly, I decided to take the plunge. You know what they say:

"Everybody else is doing it..."

So, I went to Hotbar and downloaded their program. Suddenly, I now have a lovely "skin" (that is, a decorative template) highlighting my Internet tool bar. I can now design a virtual business card to send over the Internet. I can choose from hundreds of different stationary effects to "enhance my e-mail communications."

I am trying very hard to resist the animated smilies and stationary. Really, I am.

Of course, every time I go to an Internet site, a new toolbar morphs to "suggest" helpful alternatives to the sites that I have chosen. Occasional pop-up ads are now a part of my Internet experience.

Is it worth it?

As I suspected, when I told my husband the news, and showed him the lovely e-mail I sent recently, he explained to me about the evil spyware that is probably at this very minute deducing all of my potential weak spots - just waiting to tempt me with products. Offers I cannot refuse.

He also mentioned that this could potentially slow down my whole school systems' network. But I argue again: If the principal's secretary is using this, can it really be so wrong?

Right now, as I gaze upon my psychedelic tool bar, and ponder what I want my next e-mail to look like (and also if this will be able to be downloaded on my home e-mail program...), these things seem unimportant. Right now, I'm just happy to "add a little color" to my life.

Is that so wrong?

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