Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Open Letter to Family and Friends

Dear Love Ones,

When you get one of those "forwards" in your inbox that you feel compelled to share with everyone in your email address book, please stop and take a few breaths.  First, consider whether or not the information is true.  Regardless of how much you want to believe it to be true, odds are it is not.  Further, think about the values and beliefs of those on your email list.  Not all of them hold the same values as you and you might even be sending them something that is extremely offensive to them.  As you push the send button, think about how you would feel about getting a forwarded email that takes just the opposite stance - or if they send back that very same email with a rebuttal.  Things could get very ugly.  

For the record, most of those emails are from anonymous sources, so you're risking your relationships over what a stranger has decided to send out into cyberspace.  Also, almost all of those emails are lies or gross exaggerations.  So, instead of allowing your itchy finger to press "send," do some actual research.  At the very least, go to Snopes to see if it is one of those pesky emails that have been floating around in cyberspace for years, spreading wicked lies and gossip.

In addition to risking offending your loved ones by sending out those forwards, you're also risking having your email filtered and sent to spam.  And then, when you really have something important and true to say, your friends and family might miss it.

Thank you for your consideration,


Shona~ LALA dex press said...


I cannot even begin to tell you how much this post strikes a chord with me. I've got this one squelched, you send me an alert forward and I hit "reply all" and link the story from the Snoops site that proves the story to be a hoax. Yeah, it's a bit mean, embarrassing the sender in front of their entire address book, but it works!

Cherie said...

Shona, I hate to admit it but I've done the same thing - but it doesn't seem to embarrass (or discourage) some senders. Personally, I want to know if I'm spreading falsehoods so welcome feedback when I'm wrong. Also, some other senders have found how to set up an "undisclosed" list so I can't hit "reply all."