A few words of wisdom for those who are thinking of forwarding me e-mail messages…
- 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!!!”.
- 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…
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Is it timely? A lot of the forwards out there are perfectly true, but have been doing the rounds for years.