Dear People Who Have My E-mail Address,
That forwarded email (those things with huge blocks of past recipients and a lot of “Fwd:” in front of an eye-catching subject) that you’re about to send me because you’re concerned about the well-being of me and mine? I can usually prove it’s a hoax after spending 30 seconds on Google.
Furthermore, I take great pleasure in hitting Reply, pasting the URLs and sending it back to you… and considerately BCCing it to all your friends and the friends the last 6 idiot email users passed along when they hit Forward. You do spammers a great deal of service, by the way.
I’ve gotten a few “thank yous” for that, a few “who r u? and almost always a few bounced emails. Mostly, I get nothing… which is great because they (a) are the silent minority; (b) didn’t read your original email anyway; (c) are feeling chastened and probably mortified because they already forwarded it too all their friends; or (d) have forwarded it to all their friends and feel justified because the least they can do is spend 3 seconds showing someone else that they care enough to spread the rumour and waste 30 seconds of their precious time.
A few of you chronic forwarders have earned a place in my “killfile”. It is a simple trick where you create a filter in your email for people who keep forwarding you crap. When something from you arrives, it goes directly into a separate folder (or straight into the Trash, if you prefer) that I look at and empty every now and then, like what I do with the Spam folder.
30 seconds, folks. Try it sometime. The Internet is a big place and the forwarded emails tend to be so old, something’s bound to turn up. You can probably save yourself some embarrassment from your kneejerk hysteria on the Forward button.