Saturday, August 29, 2009

Please Forward This Post

Bizarro is brought to you today by Jabba the Stud.

I get a couple of hundred emails every day. Some are personal notes from people I know, some are from readers, some are about business, some are "action alerts" from various groups in which I'm interested, and some are forwarded jokes and supposedly funny pictures.

I don't read all of my emails because I neither have the time nor the interest. I can tell from the subject line and address what most of them are about and I just hit "delete" on all of the stuff I don't care about. That's probably what you do, too. What I don't understand, though, is when people get upset about unsolicited email they get and go out of their way to write to someone and insist they be taken off the list. I find it so much easier and less insulting just to delete them. (I'm not talking about Viagra spam and the like, which doesn't work even if you complain. That's what spam filters are for.)

I recognize that not all computers and email programs are the same. If you're on an old system that takes more than a split second to download mail and requires you to open each email to find out if you want to read it or not, I can see how excess mail would be bothersome. Perhaps wrongly, I assume that almost everyone has a fast system now and that all they are really complaining about is having to flick their finger to delete something they don't want. I'm probably as off base about this, but it just seems like there are better things to get huffy about.

By the way, I do personally read and respond to all of the emails I get from Bizarro readers, except when I don't. Occasionally I get very behind on email – with stuff I've flagged to be read and responded to, not the "instant delete" stuff – and I don't answer emails I mean to. If you've ever written to me asking something that requires a response and you didn't get it, it was an accident, I wasn't just being a poo-donkey. Sorry.

That being said, please don't write just to see if I'll respond. That would make me huffy. If you really want to know something, though, feel free.

Here is are lists of my read/delete preferences:

Read: Fan mail, personal friends, business requests, purchase/shipping confirmations, hate mail, evites
Delete: Action alerts, political alerts, newsletters, forwarded jokes, advertisements, Facebook alerts, spam my filter missed
Eye-rolling revulsion: Series of patriotic pictures reminding me to support the troops, series of lovely pictures reminding me to appreciate the simple things in life, series of nature pictures reminding me that God is with me always, links to inspirational videos and songs

Since I have time, so I'm going to post once more today. A rare two-post day. See next post.

Until tomorrow – in the feast of life, be the fiber, not the fat.


Heather C. said...

Even worse, are the feel-goody forwarded e-mails that say if you *truly* cared about the person who sent it to you, you will send it BACK TO THEM within 8 minutes. Arrrgghhh.

Anonymous said...

Huh. Your read/delete/eye-rolling revulsion list is pretty much the same as mine. I have those freinds who send the last type often and think I don't like 'em if I don't do it... Typically, I see that's what it is and just forward it back to them before hitting 'delete'.

RSJ said...

Unfortunately, some of the emails I receive from otherwise intelligent people are on the order of propagating urban legends, such as driving with your lights on during the day is some kind of gang signal; some company is conducting a 'Beta test' that will somehow make you rich by annoying your friends with emails; Obama was actually born in Kenya, or, the most recent one, some wingnut-inspired fluff about the Cash-for-Clunkers program -- if you go to the government website and sign up, it supposedly downloads all of your passwords and demands your first-born or something.

It's easy enough to Google this crapola for authenticity before forwarding it to your dwindling circle of friends, and has a complete rundown of how foolish and false it is which, of course, in the case of the Birther and Clunkers BS, has led to some right-wingers calling Snopes a hotbed of pinko liberal socialists out to destroy our way of life and not to be trusted.

I think it's more that, as Stephen Colbert once joked, "Reality has a well-known liberal bias."

And it was none other than Ronald Reagan who once said, misquoting John Adams, "Facts are stupid things."

And, as a woman at a teabag party added, after quoting Reagan's misquotation, "And only liberals care about stupid things."

Anonymous said...

I have to admit I do get annoyed when I get those forwarded "cute", urban legends, scams and what not people for some unknown reason sends to you.

I never send them an angry email, unless I receive 10 of those emails fro mthe same person in one week.

The reason I get annoyed by it is because of two reasons;
1. I feel insulted that the person actually think I want to receive that kind of junk.
2. These people rarely (read never) use BCC, and I don't want my email spread far and wide. I only want people I know and trust to have my email.

That is the downside of the Internet. I love that it has made people share more information, but it has also made us stupid. We think that everything should be shared, no matter what.

Just a few weeks ago I got an email from a job agency, and they used the 'to' field instead of 'bcc'. To me, that is extremely unprofessional.