Friday, September 22, 2006

Serial Email Forwarders

I don’t know if ‘Forwarders’ is even a word, and I don’t know if you can tell that this is going to be a rant, about people who only send forwards instead of putting thought into writing something of actual use!

It was over 8 years ago that I received my first forward, initially they were a bit of fun, but it did not take long for the novelty to wear off! When you first got internet or email you were so excited that you actually had an email whether it was a forward or not, though after a little while you came to realise that the people sending them couldn’t actually be bothered writing you a proper email. Instead they sent you an email full of someone else’s photos, poems, warm fuzzy’s etc. Like that is supposed to make you feel good?! (*hands currently making obscene gestures*)

I actually have people who only send me forwards, no normal emails. No “Hi, how are you going? This is what I have been up to…”, only forwards, I repeat, ONLY FORWARDS! Am I not worthy of an actual email containing the contents of their own heads? I think this is the major reason that I hate forwards, they are sent instead of actual intelligent conversation. Imagine if we spammed each other in person! It would be like someone asking you how your day was, and then you sprouting information about a completely unrelated topic about someone else, or something else, along with some pictures of a dog hugging a cat. What would be funny is if you used those crappy forward quizzes to actually find out more about people in person! Even with people that you already know! “Hi, I have known you for years but what is your favourite ice cream flavour, what was the name of your first pet, and like, what are your four favourite movies of all time?!”

Mmm, are you all dying from the saturation of sarcasm in this post?

See, the thing is, that I see forwards like junk mail now, I pick it up from my letterbox and I stick it directly into the recycling bin, it doesn’t even make it into the house. If I see any email with fw: in front of it, you can be sure that I will delete, delete, and delete. Because they are useless trash, especially the ones with funny photos that I have seen a million times, or came out about 3 years go. Often the initiators of the forwards will only catch on about three years after something has first graced the internet.

After all that ranting, if a forwarded email does make it through, and I do open it, if it is good, I will still not forward it. Unless it is really, really really good (does not happen often), then I will write a short introduction, delete all of the crappy previous addresses that the email has been forwarded to, and personalise the email for the select few I am forwarding to.

This brings me to Forwarding Etiquette. If you cannot resist that urge inside you to forward, here are some useful tips for making your habit less dangerous to others:
  • Do not, I repeat, DO NOT forward crap forwards (this should bring you down to about the two worthy forward emails a year).
  • Do not forward those crap quizzes. They are long, boring and no one has time to do them. If you really think that you need to know more about your friends/family, call them on the phone and ask them questions, it’s quicker and more fun.
  • Do not just hit forward and leave 2000 lines of other people’s email addresses above the forward! Delete all but the essential information before you hit send. This way people will not have to scroll for ten minutes before they actually reach the forwarded contents, along the way being greeted by people’s “Haa Haa’s” and “Hee Hee’s‘.
  • Edit the top of the forward to meet and greet the people that you are sending it to, so they at least feel slightly like they are worthy of your words.
  • Do not select everyone in your address book and send the forward to them all. Believe me, your Grammy does not want to see the rude cartoons, and your macho hormonal brother does not want to see pictures of kittens.
  • Do not forward emails with explicit content to people’s work emails, unless you want to get them fired.

Aaah, I feel better already, all prepped to move forward into my email ‘fw:’ free, though inevitably with a letterbox full of junk mail.

No comments: