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Monday, Sep. 22, 2014

Email Idiocy

Posted Saturday, May 17, 2008, at 8:48 AM

Before I head out to mow on this beautiful sunny Missouri morning, I have to get something off my chest. I will try mightily to keep myself under control...but last night I received some of the most stupendously stupid emails yet known to man, so while my grass dries, I'll enlighten you - for what it's worth.

The Statesman web poll was, I thought, highly informational this week: How do you spend most of your time on the Internet? (Or some such variation..) As of today, Saturday, May 17, 2008, 133 people have responded, and here are the results: Email - 45.9%; websurfing - 22.6%; education - 4.5%; online chatting - 4.5%; online shopping - 3.0%; online games - 6.8%; something else - 12.0%

Some of us have probably suspected that the "education" part of the internet would be so low, but that doesn't keep us from being disappointed. Reality is often disappointing, isn't it?

As for the "online games," I can attest to the massive waste of time that a certain virtual reality game has on my oldest brother, who works nights and spends most of the day caught up in the web of interactive gaming...

However, the prevalence of email is no surprise to me or anyone else. That is rapidly becoming the mode of communication for many of us. Frankly, I love it. I find it most helpful. As our community library board secretary, I love the fact that I can email the minutes of our meetings, and all nine members of the board can get this information - along with notices of meetings and all sorts of necessary information. I only wish our senior citizen board were the same, but, it's encouraging that five out of nine are email literate. Age, of course, is no excuse, as the oldest member of our board (93) is a computer whiz!

That said, here's the issue: There are entirely too many people who have too much time and too little sense to judge what sort of email they should be sending to their friends/acquaintances/enemies/perfect strangers!

My top email pet peeves are as follows:

1) "Angel" and twinkling prayer emails which you have to send to everybody on your mailing list within 5 minutes - or you're a very uncaring, BAD person.

2) Christian emails which baldly state that if you don't send this email to all your friends, it means that you are ashamed of Jesus.

3) Frivolous emails with graphics or enormous photos, which lock up my dial-up system for 30 minutes or more while they download. Example: my cousin Beverley sending me a silly "trailer trash" email which has 7 photos of very upscale travel trailers with room to carry a sports car in the baggage section. (And I'm supposed to care about this --- why???)

4) And, most insidious of all: False, inflamatory, bigoted and very mean-spirited emails intended to spread the worst kind of falsehoods! These emails are usually sent to long, long lists of recipients, in the misguided idea that the sender is doing a "service" to all his/her acquaintances.

Yes, I received one last night from ....well, no need to go into that...but it was most disappointing.

These false emails always sound SO CONVINCING, giving all sorts of concrete details, which turn out to be absolutely false. And, how can you FIND OUT IF THE EMAILS ARE FALSE?? Very simple. You minimize your email screen, click on your internet browser, and type "www.snopes.com" into the little box at the top!

In this case, I scrolled down the topics, clicked on "Politics," and then clicked on "Barack Obama." The list of rumored emails was extensive. I scrolled down the list and found "connections to Kenya." I clicked on the highlighted word, and it led me to an exact copy of the text which my acquaintance had sent me - exact, word for word. And there it was --- "FALSE." I read through all the details, which set the record straight.

Looking back over that slanderous email which was sent to me, I counted the number of others who had received the same email. There were 53 on the original email and 21 on the one sent to me. Some of the names on the original email would be quite familiar to you...

How many of those 74 people do you think checked the truth of the email before sending it on?

When we were back in school, we played a game called "Gossip." We sat in a circle and whispered something to the person next to us. They whispered it to the person next to them...and it continued around the circle. When the statement completed the circle, (you know the answer, because you've played it too, haven't you?) the statement was nothing like the original "gossip."

Whether we're in an election year or not, we need to keep ourselves informed as best we can. When we get these outlandish emails, let's check them out before we pass them on. Rumor is a terrible beast, and technology can give that beast an enormous amount of power.

It's going to take an entire day of mowing outside in the sun - feeling the fresh air on my face - watching my dogs chase each other in the sunshine - for me to get the bad taste of internet ugliness out of my system....


Comments
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amen.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Sat, May 17, 2008, at 9:31 AM

Right on the money, MD! I use the internet primarily for email and secondarily for blogging. I hate those stupid spam emails. I delete all emails coming from folks not in my address book unless it is on some matter of importance from somebody I recognize. Most of those "Fwd:..." emails I never read. I usually don't have time and just delete them.

-- Posted by swift on Sat, May 17, 2008, at 9:44 AM

I have a question for those online techno experts who seem to know the reason behind all things modern and up to date: Why are so many emails PUSHY? Is there a way the email creator can track how many times his/her email has been forwarded? Is there some contest whereby the person with the most forwarded emails gets some sort of prize out there in cyberspace?? If their email creation is forwarded 2,350 times, do they have a shot at being hired by Google or Microsoft or some big technology company??

Why do they CARE if we forward their email? Why do they bother telling us that something wonderful is going to happen to us within the next 24 hours -- only if we forward their prayer email to 10 people in the next 5 minutes???

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, May 18, 2008, at 7:16 AM

GL, I feel a little left out because I've never gotten one of the emails you are talking about!? Maybe I have my spam filter set too high? What else am I missing out on? Or do I not want to know!? But yes, it is very possible that every time an email is forwarded that it is kept track of by the source.

MD, I have a "retired" friend who is "addicted" to an online game. But I look at the bright side, at least it isn't gambling and costing her money, and she could keel over at any time and she seems to get enjoyment out of it.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Sun, May 18, 2008, at 6:45 PM

Oh, so you'd like to have some of that junk email, would you, FJGuy? We'll just see what we can do about that!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, May 18, 2008, at 9:59 PM

I've gotten very hateful emails about every single candidate still running (and some that aren't any more). It seems that sending hateful, false emails isn't limited to just one party. I delete them all. Thanks for checking that one out on snopes.com MD.

I got a very funny and appropriate email recently that said something like "stop sending me all the prayers, angels, good luck and heath suggestions. None of the **** is working. From now on just send cash, chocolate, alcohol and gas vouchers." I pass on the alcohol, but the chocolate and gas vouchers sound pretty good.

-- Posted by Ducky on Mon, May 19, 2008, at 12:57 PM

Tere are some forwards that are very usefull as follows

Finally.....a useful forward!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, I'm not telling everyone my age, as most of you already know...BUT...I had to go into the kitchen and check this out for myself. Who ever looks at the end of your aluminum foil box? What a fantastic idea! Now, if someone would just make plastic wrap that didn't stick to itself.

I've been using aluminum foil for more years than I care to remember. Great stuff, but sometimes it can be a pain. You know, like when you are in the middle of doing something and you try to pull some foil out and the roll comes out of the box. Then you have to put the roll back in the box and start over. The darn roll always comes out at the wrong time.

Well, I would like to share this with you. Yesterday I went to throw out an empty Reynolds foil box and for some reason I turned it and looked at the end of the box. And written on the end it said, Press here to lock end. Right there on the end of the box is a tab to lock the roll in place. How long has this little locking tab been there? I then looked at a generic brand o f aluminum foil and it had one, too. I then looked at a box o f Saran wrap and it had one too! I can't count the number of times the Saran wrap roll has jumped out when I was trying to cover something up.

-- Posted by LUFER on Tue, May 20, 2008, at 3:32 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Hey! You're right! How long has THAT been there??

Don'know Madeline, there was also one I had forwarded to me the told how to tell what side your gas tank is on by looking on the gas gauge to see what side the hose is on the pump or on some there is an arrow.....the helpful ones are few and far between though....

-- Posted by LUFER on Tue, May 20, 2008, at 9:20 PM

Wow, LUFER, you're a wealth of information! Thanks.

-- Posted by Ducky on Wed, May 21, 2008, at 10:48 AM

Wow!! I am so glad I looked in here to see what has been happening. Locks in the foil and plastic wrap boxes, and the gas gauge.. these things are far too cool. No wonder they are called dummy lights, this DUMMY had no clue!!!

-- Posted by SKDellinger on Sat, Jun 14, 2008, at 10:50 AM


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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net or by phone at 573-722-5322.
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