The Weekly Rant with Gary Patella

Thoughts and ideas on various grievances that are relevant to everyday life.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

On E-mail Chains

In this modern age, very few people use the postal service for correspondence. Writing a letter and having it sent in the mail is now considered far too slow. In fact, what used to simply be called "mail" is now referred to as "snail mail." This is, of course, due to the Internet and the accompanying electronic mail. As soon as the mail is sent, the other person receives the message within seconds.

While electronic mail (or e-mail) may be quite useful, its flaw is that it is almost too easy to use. E-mail has become ubiquitous, and the very efficiency and speed that make it so wonderful has also lead to another effect. Now instead of people sending messages of importance, as they would with regular mail, any message or thought is immediately sent to numerous parties at once. The people sending these e-mails have no capacity to filter out the trash. It doesn't matter if the people have any interest in the material; they'll receive it anyway! They're on the list of people to e-mail.

This leads to a problem for many. Any message of importance or significance can not always be accessed in a timely manner. The inbox fills up with extreme rapidity. And why and how can people send messages that fast? Simple: the e-mails are usually chains that are simply forwarded to a large group of people without any discrimination. It is a huge pain, and someone needs to speak out about it.

First off, there are the chain letters. These are the dumbest things I've ever seen. Some say that you must forward for luck, some for money, and some for love. Regardless of the spiel, they all claim to have been passed around for a long time and then contain stories of people that did and people that did not pass it on. Well I've never passed one on (excepting one bulletin on MySpace to test my ability to copy and paste-- I'm quite computer illiterate). And in all of the chains I've received, I have never gone bankrupt, been hospitalized, or had a giant sea monster kill me. None of the claims about not passing the chain letters are true.

There are other chain letters that claim to have some magical tracking device. Why do people still believe in this? NO! Not Microsoft, nor Apple, nor any other company is going to give you any money for forwarding this e-mail! Nor will the Red Cross donate money to help Sicky McGee in the hospital! Nor will some crazy video or image come up after forwarding to X number of people! There is no such thing as any tracker to continually follow and keep track of how many forwards, and so on, to launch a program that will come back and reward you with a video (or an image, or money, or a donation to some sick kid). These e-mails have been around for years, and people are still stupid enough to fall for them.

Then there are the political e-mail chains. These are fairly clever, because someone had to take some information, scramble the details, and rewrite what happened while making the story seem plausible. Every single one of these e-mails that I've read have contained some type of lie. Whether it was something that Obama said or refuses to say, something that George W. Bush has done, something Clinton did, or easily checked facts like members of The United States Senate Select Committee or things that people have said on tape or video makes no difference. Someone makes a story up, sends it in an email, and then I get an inbox filled with misinformation! If you're going to send this crap, at least verify the so-called facts.

I've also received religious e-mail chains. Anyone familiar with my religion (or lack thereof) should realize that I don't want to receive an e-mail chain preaching any type of religion. It doesn't matter if the religion is Christianity, Judaism, String theory, Islam, or Scientology. I don't want to read it!

In closing, I would just like to tell everyone that sends these chains to please stop! I guarantee that there are many people out there that feel the same way I do. They are just too nice to tell you that you are being a major pain with all of these e-mails. But here's a clue: when you ask someone if they read a particular forwarded e-mail and he or she says "I haven't had a chance to go through all of them yet," you're forwarding too many e-mails! Now cut it out!


At 11:09 PM , Blogger Pawfect Day said...

There should be a Like button here, I am going to forward this to the biggest offenders....


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