Url's take on (well-intentioned)
A lot of people are buying
computers for the first time. They're using eMail for the first time.
And they're sending junk mail for the first time. This is actually an
interesting phenomenon, because these people aren't sleaze-bags. . .
they're our friends and relatives.
We didn't hear from some
of these people for twenty years and now they're sending us eMail chain
letters, Y2K doom eMail, and eMail about a Nieman-Marcus cookie recipe
that's been circulating on the Internet for 10 years.
Even a rat hates to be rude,
but I'm tempted to write back and say, "Hey, why don't you just
put all your U.S. Post Office junk mail in a big box along with all
the Sunday newspaper supplements from Target, Wal-Mart, and Office Depot,
and FedEx it to me so I can start going through it as soon as possible."
No, that's harsh. Instead,
send them to this page. Tell them to skip these first four paragraphs.
Consider everthing below a version of eMail Tough-Love.
forward junk eMail!
If you've got a family list of eMail addresses, make sure everyone on
the list has expressed a desire to have mail forwarded to them. Blindly
forwarding eMail to everyone on your list guarantees that eventually
Aunt Rodentia in Boxtop, Mississippi is going to grow tired of receiving
garbage that you're passing along. But she's not going to say anything
because she doesn't want to hurt your feelings.
a little discretion, pleeeeeze!
When you get eMail that starts off with "This is not a joke!".
. . it's always a joke. Or a hoax. These eMails usually go on to warn
about a virus that's going to destroy the world unless you forward this
message to everyone you know. If such a virus did exist, I'd hear about
it on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and a dozen web sites I check everyday. It's
OK to send chain letter eMails to friends who are independently wealthy
and have nothing else to do all day besides sit around and try to think
of 15 other people who they would like to irritate. Sending chain letter
eMails to relatives that you really, really dislike is OK too.
up your headers. Sheeesh!
Some people do want you to forward eMail to them. Forwarded eMail can
be a good thing. But even if someone is begging you to forward
eMail to them, you can at least check to make sure there's not five
pages of header information at the top of the message, left over from
the last dozen or so people that forwarded the eMail. It's like attaching
a couple of pages of junk mail to a letter. I may enjoy getting a forwarded
message if I don't have to scroll through a hundred lines of Date:
Sender: Subject: Mime-Version: in order to get to the main text.
If there's a lot
of header junk at the top of the eMail you received, don't just forward
it. Copy the relevant text and paste it into a new eMail and send the
new eMail to your list.
sorry you had to hear this from me.
Don't hold it against your loved ones for not telling you this already.
Sometimes these delicate situations are best handled by an Internet
Cafe Professional. Now go take on the Net.