Monday, November 26, 2007

Forwards and Backwards

Do you get a lot of email forwards? Do you like them? I generally don't forward much of what crosses my Inbox. To be honest, most of the forwards are things I have seen a dozen times over several years, and most are of dubious accuracy. It doesn't take more than a minute or two to check the facts, if there is any doubt. Sure, I'll make an exception and forward if I see something that I am sure someone will like, but those are narrowly targeted and rare. I enjoy friends forwarding choice finds that they know I will like or get a laugh out of (because they understand what I find funny or interesting). But a lot of what I get I delete without opening. If it is not thought-provoking, and VETTED (preferably with verifiable sources quoted), or at least funny as hell, I don't want to waste my time.

So if you know my email address and are reading this: Please do NOT send me anything non-personal that is NOT (a)hilarious or deeply twisted, or (b)interesting, scientific or thought-provoking (must be true, not hysterical or circumstantial), or (c)something that you KNOW FOR A FACT that I am truly interested in, or (d)pictures of friends or family (bonus if they are doing something embarassing or funny). In particular, I am completely disinterested in receiving anything of a political nature that is shrill, distorted, unscientific, unsupported by verifiable facts (and I WILL check), not supported by coherent arguments, or just plain mean.

/rant

Sorry... cranky tonight.

19 comments:

Jeni said...

Boy, do I ever hate the forwards that have every freaking e-mail address it's ever gone to before still attached to it too! Most of the forwards, like you, I've generally seen before and recognize what it is by the header which makes my initial reaction then to just immediately deep-six that puppy. How many times though are we going to see the "missing child" or all the guardian angels that if you don't forward those, some one or something is gonna show up and do you in, ya know! The "missing child" one really irritates me when it is the same one, over and over and if checked out, is a known fraud. All that does is eliminate people from being able to help in an instance where it's correct and really is affiliated with a Amber alert. Defeats the purpose there by clogging cyberspace with the phoney stuff. I especially don't want the political stuff -unless I know it is from someone who has a similar belief to mine and is usually sending me something interesting or at the very least, funny!

Kathleen said...

Amen, girl, amen! My family likes to forward crap all willy nilly and it makes me crazy. I've been on the Internet forever (or more than 15 years), so I've seen it all. We just got Mom a computer and I told the YS we have to teach her about spam and how not to forward, as her sisters are in love with forwarding every little thing. *sigh*

My aunt loves to forward Democrat bashing/Republican loving stuff to me. I think it's to annoy me, because she can't possibly think she's going to convert me. I hate that!

Anonymous said...

I think you touched a nerve.

I hate it too!

oxox

magnetbabe said...

Rage on, sista!

HATE the forwards. Usually I delete them shortly after making sure there isn't anything personal (I do enjoy pictures of family, etc). Once in awhile if it's really outrageous I'll hit "reply all" and send the link debunking the forward, but I realize that's a little stank and often feel bad after doing it.

Dave said...

I'll take the opposite view (other than Jeni's point about all of the serial Email headers - people there's an easy way to get rid of them) 90% of what I get I'm not interested in which results in a click on the red x at the top of the screen. Of the remaining forwards, maybe half, now 5% are something I think someone else might like. Of these the catagories narrow again. General interest by family and friends are very rare; but, it happens and I click forward (after getting rid of all of the headers and sending it bcc so that recipients don't get the addresses of other recipients). Then there are they guy things and the girl things and the political things with their own audiences, which only each gets.

So, in conclusion Fermi, I shouldn't forward you the one about....?

fermicat said...

jeni - yes, funny is always a good choice!

kat - has a single person ever changed their mind because of a forward? Yeah, I didn't think so! ;-)

anon - Hi, Mom!

magnetbabe - that is exactly what I did this time, and I did feel a tiny bit bad until five minutes later when I got a snippy little reply from someone on the "reply all" list. Apparently, the facts are not universally appreciated.

dave - it's all in the post... but a good rule of thumb is to not pass on stuff that is false or misleading.

LL said...

I don't pass along anything in bulk. If you get an email from me, it's to you, not some mail list.

That being said, when I give my email addy out, I tell people exactly that... don't spam me or send me flock-shot emails. If you want to send me something, send it to me, not me and everyone else. It still doesn't stop it, but it has greatly reduced the crap.

Now the scary thing about flock emails. If they leave all of the forwarded addy's on the top or in the body and some scammer gets ahold of the message, then he's got hundreds or thousands of live email addy's to try and scam. I know that's how I got on their lists...

fermicat said...

ll - it doesn't take that long to remove the dozens of lines of old headers, so I don't know why people don't do that if they must pass along something that has been around and around.

dr sardonicus said...

My wife's family, especially my father-in-law, is notorious for forwarding these chain e-mails. They tend to follow the three R's - reactionary, racist, or religious. I generally at least glance at them to keep tabs on what the American lizard brain is up to. Once in a great while my father-in-law sends something genuinely funny, and a couple of those I've reposted at Pole Hill.

wa11z said...

Have separate emails. That's what I do.

fermicat said...

dr s - I like your description (the 3 R's).

wa11z - I have a second account, but rarely check it.

Jim Donahue said...

My S.O.'s father often sends stuff. Then I go directly to Snopes to find the article debunking it and send him the link.

fermicat said...

jim - if only people would check Snopes before they forward stuff.

Ron Davison said...

Time to write a sci fi short story about a future in which everyone is so busy forwarding and reading information that they gradually leave off on eating, mating, and sleeping. Species extinction and it doesn't even trace back to a pandemic or nuclear war.

fermicat said...

Hi Ron. I recognize you from Dave's place. Thanks for stopping in.

I read a lot of sci-fi short stories and think you are on to something with this story idea.

TheWriteGirl said...

Cranky, that's me all the time these days. I understand.

younameit said...

I long ago practically ordered everyone of my friends and acquaintances who email me not to send me forwards of any sort, period, unless it is a personally written message from a mutual friend. I told them I delete everyone of their dumb-joke forwards without reading them, so they should just stop sending them. I was as blunt and no-nonsense as I could be so that the seriousness of my request would sink in.

But, in order to not sound like a total jerk, I said I eagerly look forward to receiving messages from them that contain their own words. That is the truth, too, and they know it.

With only a few rare exceptions in the past ten years, everyone has honored my request. Even those people who usually click the "Send to All" button have somehow managed to leave me out of the mix when sending forwards. Of course that's all that some of my friends and relatives ever send to anyone, since writing doesn't seem to be their thing, so I never hear from them. Oh, well, that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

As a result of my hardline attitude, whenever a message does show up in my inbox, I still get somewhat excited because I know it is a personal message from a real friend. I almost never have to worry about feeling let down after discovering that it is only some pathetic forwarded joke.

fermicat said...

younameit - the jokes I don't mind as much, although many times they are corny or I've seen them several times before, or they are really a political slam disguised as a joke. It's OK if people try to make me laugh, but please don't try to convert me to some nutjob political view by sending me a forward full of distortions and falsehoods. I also don't appreciate chain mail of any kind, and could do without most of the cutesy stuff.

younameit said...

FC - The jokes I don't mind as much...

YNI - Story jokes have almost never worked for me, not even as a kid. Still, you reminded me of something. I found that it was necessary to say "NO!" to all forwards because most of my friends and relatives are totally incapable of figuring out which ones I do like and do not like, so they just continued to send all of them to me. Yes, I realized that I would probably be missing out on a few good ones, but that was a very small price to pay for being able to avoid dozens of bad ones every week (including excessively religious ones).

I also told two or three of my friends that they are more than welcome to email me a personal note asking me if it is OK to send a forward that they are sure I will like. If they do that, then I know they have put some thought into what they are sending me. [I sure am making myself sound like a petty tyrant, aren't I? ;-)]

FC - but please don't try to convert me to some nutjob political view by sending me a forward full of distortions and falsehoods.

YNI - How about trying to convert you to some "political view" that is full of accuracies and truths, but which has been successfully demonized by the mainstream media as a nut-job view? ;-)

P.S. Seriously, not all "nut-job political views" are actually "nut-job political views." It took me most of my life -- and eating my share of humble pie -- to realize that. I had been unfairly critical of a few views that I now realize weren't so crazy after all (although there are bad people who pervert those legitimate views to their own ends).