Before you hit the “Forward” Button…

A few words of wisdom for those who are thinking of forwarding me e-mail messages…

  1. Is it true? Mark Twain said “A lie can travel around the world before the truth has finished putting on its shoes”. A huge majority of the warnings and calls to action turn out to be untrue with just a few minutes of research. It takes only a few minutes to check out the veracity of that “Scam Warning!!!”.
  2. Is it relevant? Forwarding “Breast Cancer Awareness Week” to a bunch of burly guys ain’t the smartest move… (exception: if someone you love is fighting or has fought this battle, then or then you have earned the right). For your information, Testicular Cancer Awareness Week is April 1-7, and Prostate cancer” Awareness Week is Sept 15-21. Maybe I should e-mail that to all the ladies I know; perhaps that would be mean of me…
  3. Is it reasonable? No, Bill Gates is not going to give you anything for forwarding an e-mail message to a bunch of people – if he can’t track down spammers, what makes you think that he can track your e-mail? And no, don’t send it out “just in case”. All you will do is waste my time and try my patience.
  4. Do you care enough to write? Some people love to forward, but never seem to write anything. A one-line personal message says “I care”. Reams of forwarded stuff says “I’ve got too much time on my hands”. Perhaps you have, but I haven’t – don’t waste it.
  5. Is it brief? I don’t need to see the names and addresses of the last thousand recipients, with a “thought you’d like this” comment from someone I don’t know. Don’t be afraid to cut out the crap that I don’t need to see.
  6. Is it timely? A lot of the forwards out there are perfectly true, but have been doing the rounds for years.
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