Wednesday, January 14, 2009

daily vent take thirteen...

Whoever invented email was a genius - wasn't that Al Gore? Oh wait, he invented the Internet. I digress. Email is the greatest invention since sliced bread.

One of the reasons I like email so much is because it saves all those horrible pleasantries that you have to go through when you make a phone call. You don't have to ask how the kids are, what's new with the family and hear about the latest happenings in a persons life that, lets face it, we could all go without hearing every time we talk to someone. Email is strait forward and to the point. Only the most pertinent information gets included. Then, if you care to ask the questions like how are the kids and the dog and the diet going - you're free to do that.

Probably the greatest thing about email is that you don't have to suffer through the long goodbyes. You don't have to figure out how to end the conversation and get on with your life. You just put sincerely, love, thanks or whatever compels you at the moment and it's over with. In case you can't tell, I love email.

As with all things wonderful, there has to be a down side and I found it - email forwards.

This problem tends to stem from people 50+ who are just jumping on the technology bandwagon and think everything contained in an email is either true and/or worthy of passing on. Some of the more popular forwards seem to be the ones that have "cute" little animated pictures of animals or babies with inspirational sayings. Even more popular are the power point slide shows with music and glitter text so that you really get the message. All of this is supposed to show the recipient how much the sender really cares. Never mind that you're just another name on a batch email list and now your inbox is cluttered with an extra 4MB of stuff.

Another, and probably the most annoying kind of email forward is the ever popular petition. If you add your name to the list and then forward it on to your entire contact list then abortion will be obliterated or some company will donate $1 for every name on the list or some little boy in Tennessee will miraculously be healed of some never before heard of disease. Has anyone ever stopped to think how ridiculous this notion is? First of all, who is going to "collect" the information and turn it in once it has circulated the world 12x over? Secondly, who is actually going to take serious action based on a forwarded email?

Furthermore, is anyone actually compelled by the ending of every single email forward that tries to guilt you into forwarding the email on? "Forward this to 5 people in 5 minutes and 5 wishes will come true". Or "if you've felt as touched by this as I have, why be selfish and keep the warm feeling to yourself. Pass it onto 20 friends and give them warm fuzzies too". Or "if you don't forward this email to 10 people in the next 30 seconds something bad will happen to you". Does anyone actually believe that? The answer has to be yes because I can't tell you how many times I've looked and the email has been forwarded to exactly 5 people within the last 5 minutes of receipt of the email.

Then there are the inevitable emails of warning. Not that I don't want to be warned of impending danger but it seems like some people just see the title: 'Warning Pepsi cans decapitate 120 people' and pass it on because who knows, maybe the Pepsi can you have sitting in your fridge could be a culprit too. It seems as though common sense goes right out the window when a warning is involved. There are places to check the authenticity of an email - is a great one. So before you forward an email warning me that the new flip flops I bought contain radioactive material and my feet are going to glow in the dark, check just to be extra sure that it's true.

Not all email forwarding is bad however. I do enjoy a funny joke or an SHORT inspirational story. I love email for catching up with friends and family. I love email for doing business and not having to waste $0.42 every time I want to send a correspondence. Just PLEASE for the love of heaven, don't send me a picture with cute little kittens and yarn that says "hope you're having a puuuuurfect day"!


Amanda said...

AMEN. I'm a fan of knowing your audience, too. If you know it's something I'll enjoy, feel free to send it to me. If you're only sending it to 30 friends because Gap is going to send you a certificate for forwarding it, then PLEASE don't bother. Drives me crazy to no end. I am an e-mail forward killer. I delete them--often before I even read them.

Steven & Becky Heumann said...

Once upon a time I got an animated email. The animated character got up on a soap box and said everything that you just did and then in the end he said something like, "Forward this to all of your friends or you will die." I wish I still had it. I think it would fit with the funny emails that you enjoy.

4riddles said...

Oh good, so I can add you to my list of email friends to forward everything funny!! J/K
You nailed it with the 50+ crowd. My mom saves all her "funny/cute" emails and then does what she calls "housecleaning" at the end of the month and forwards them all to me and my brothers.
(I admit I delete 95% without even reading them.)
I have just started reading all the other vents! They are EXCELLENT!

McAllister Fam said...

Couldn't have said it better!

Darren Johnson Family said...

I just love reading your blog. You put into words the things that I'd love to say but don't know how to say them. I totally agree with this regarding forwards. I always hate those guilt emails but then I just delete it and feel better about not making someone else feel guilty.