Thursday, November 20, 2008
Before you press that 'Forward' button...
...stop. Take a deep breath. Go have that first cup of coffee. Or walk the dog. Or read a story to the kids. Or, well, all of the above. Then follow these simple guidelines.
Okay, there are three major types of things people "forward" via email to a LOT of people at one time. The first is chain letters. If you ever even considered sending one of these, seek medical attention immediately. And if you send one to me, you might have to seek medical attention! Basically, what I'm saying here is just don't do it. There is really no good reason. You won't get good luck if you send it. You won't get bad luck if you don't. It's just clogging the Internet for no reason. And you know that down deep, don't you? That's right...click that delete button. There you go. It really is okay.
The second is the good old fashioned internet joke. Hey, if you have to forward it, feel free, but please don't send it to me. I've been on the Internet since 1990. I've seen it all. At least ten times. Really. Plus there are about a gajillion different places to go read jokes on the Internet already. If I want to read a joke, I'll go read a joke or two. Besides, it seems like most internet joke forwards are really things told as "true stories." And they aren't true at all. The one about the blond who thought she was shot in the head only to find she had a can of biscuits explode in the backseat? Not even remotely true, and it's just not funny if it didn't really happen.
The last is the most controversial, probably. The cause. You got it, you read it, and it tore at your heart strings. It made you tear up a little. Or a lot. Whatever. But before you go sending it out to everyone you know, please check its validity. The single best place to check is snopes.com. You can go there and search on just a couple words from the subject line or body of what you received and in most cases you'll find you're looking at something either fake or at the very least completely unverified and unable to be verified (which means it's fake). If you can't find it at Snopes, try Googling it. It might just verify. Or Snopes will tell you if you have a positive, too (some things listed in Snopes are indeed true...try reading up on the copyright of Happy Birthday for an interesting story).
Now, if you've sent me one of these in the past, please don't think I'm mad at you. I'm not. I used to do this kind of thing myself. But since I've found out that so much of what's forwarded around isn't true, well, I've made it my mission to stamp it out. And that not only means telling you that your Forward wasn't true, but it means trying to get you and everyone else to check these things first. If we work together, we can make the truly bogus things go away. But if you mess up and send me one of these, well, I'm likely to just point you to this blog post. If I did that and you read this far, well, figure out which category you're in and act accordingly in the future. No need to respond...unless I told you otherwise, I still love you almost as much as before you sent me that email. Almost. *grin*