break the chains

Today a well-meaning friend sent me an email with a message attached claiming that every time the message was forwarded, a donation would be made to the American Cancer Society.

Maybe you've had emails like this: they include a sentimental poem or a humorous photo. It's so tempting to pass it on... and yet I resist. On a very rare occasion, if I think it's something a friend of mine would really enjoy seeing, I pass a message on for one or two people. Not my entire address box.

As a born skeptic, I never believe the photos anyway. Everything is doctored. Photo editing software is only limited by the imagination and the skill of the user. Just to clear the air: The cat really isn't wearing shoes. The baby wasn't drinking from the wine bottle. The lizard wasn't attached to the basketball during a game. Seriously. Who do you think you're kidding?

The "friendship poems" really chap my behind. A real friend would send me an email saying something like, "where the hell have you been?" or "what are you doing next Friday for lunch?". I'm sorry. I don't get it. Since when do I have the time to "scroll down" and "forward" this junk to everybody I know?

I don't read paper junk mail. If it looks remotely financial, I shred it. If it's strictly advertising - to the recycle bin it goes. I don't listen to telemarketers (actually, that's a whole different story altogether), so why should I put up with my inbox stuffed daily with:

If you pass this along to eight people, you will have good fortune in twenty-four hours.

So? Something great might happen in twenty-four hours anyway. What about:

Please pass this message along, to prevent this awful tragedy from happening again.

I beg your pardon? The tragedy today is that I had 72 messages in my inbox! My least favourite:

Let this little girl know that you care by forwarding this message to every single person you've ever met.

If you consider yourself to be a skeptic like me, conduct a little Internet recon the next time one of those cryptic little messages comes your way. You'll likely find that by searching the name of the "missing child" or the "concerned doctor" you will get to the root of the hoax. And then email your well-meaning but ill-informed friend the link to this site. And if you really like the poem, or you think the photo is that damned cute, please: cut it and paste it into a new message for me.


DivaDeb said...

Oooooooooh Saucy can I climb up there with you onto your soapbox for this one? I agree with you 100 per cent!

The ones that REALLY chap my hide are the ones that chide "If you're not ashamed of Jesus, forward this email to twenty five people in the next minute." For crying out LOUD, people....I think the Lord would appreciate it FAR more if you'd go out and feed a starving person or give shelter to a homeless family than forward a freakin' email twenty five times!!!!!

Stepping down off of your soapbox now, Saucy, sorry......

Mrs. G. said...

Oh, Saucy, Saucy, Saucy, you can share the special little room reserved for me in hell for all the chains I have broken...that would be every single one of them. I'd rather take risks at a Vegas slot machine.

imquilternity said...

Well said!

Professor J said...

Hear, hear!

Megan said...

Also check out to see if claims are 'real' or not about forwards (ex, is the money REALLY going to cancer every time you send it OR does Bill Gates really owe all Microsoft users $25 and i need to add my name to the list??).

It's always nice to check it on Snopes, then send it back to the Forwarder with the correct information :)

Melissa said...

I'm right there with you breaking the chains. And no tragedy has befallen me.

Geekgrl64 said...

I have broken so many, many chains! I have one friend who is HORRIFIC about forwarding. I think we finally have her in the habit of checking things through Snopes before she sends them out.

Junie Moon said...

I whole-heartedly agree with everything you said!

saucygrrl said...

O. M. G. I have the same rant. And have actually lost a couple of friends to my outspoken opinion on this. But, I guess you really can't call someone a *friend* if all they do is forward this kind of junk along to you. You're really more of a good luck charm, honestly.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

I have one friend who sends me tons of these stupid emails. I never read them. But I do respond to her with, "hey! what have YOU been up to lately?".

Gah! I hate those things.