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  • Stop sending me chain mail

    Recently there's been an onslaught of posts on Facebook from people asking their friends to stop sending them chain mail. I've been asking this same thing for over 30 years. That's three decades of receiving this annoying crap that has mainly consisted of propaganda, emotional blackmail, threats, myths or attempts to elicit sympathy for a situation that doesn't really exist.

    Back in the day each chain mail letter was handwritten for as many people as were intended to receive it -- which blissfully discouraged people from doing it on a regular basis. Then photocopying became a thing and the chain mails picked up in intensity. And now with the internet, it's just far too easy for people to spread these annoying texts/images with a few clicks of a button.

    It was once rumoured that chain mails were propagated by postal employees looking to increase mail service. And then there was the one calling for a ban on Proctor & Gamble claiming they were Satan worshipers because of a stamp they placed on their crates in the early days. Many similar rumours have surfaced over the years and while not all of them are malicious in intent, chain letters haven't ceased to rear their ugly, time-wasting, emotional-blackmailing, curse-inducing proverbial heads.

    Look, I realize some of them are just innocent, legit attempts at showing affection or just to let someone know that they're being thought of -- but they are few and far between. And even as innocuous as their intentions might seem, there is still the potential (in some cases) of having a deleterious effect on other people's devices.

    It's frustrating, tiresome and somewhat annoying to keep having to ask people to stop sending these chain mails, because:

    1. I feel like a schmuck knowing some meant it as a nice gesture and I don't want to hurt their feelings;
    2. I actually get a little angry every time I get one that suggests harm will come to me if I don't pass it on within a certain period of time and/or to a certain number of people;
    3. It's lazy, unoriginal, and usually resplendent with grammatical errors and/or typos;
    4. In some cases it violates privacy and online security;
    5. I've been asking people for over 30 years to stop this!

    *takes a big deep breath*

    That being said, I've been guilty of it as well. (Oh shut up). Let's face it, it IS a convenient way to tell the people you really care about how much they mean to you in one foul swoop -- without inadvertently striking up a conversation with 30 people at once.

    I still want to let people know I'm thinking about them from time to time in a somewhat personal manner (without interfering with my introvertedness) so here's what I've done instead: I've created a customized friend's list called "Besties", adding people who I think belong there. When I want only them to see a certain post, I use the Facebook post option "Friends except/Specific Friends" then type in "Besties" in the "Search for a friend or list" box. Then I post whatever image or text I want them to see.

    Hope this helps. Because I'm really not trying to discourage people from cute little impromptu communications, I just want everyone to say safe and be free from accidental curses or being eternally damned because they couldn't comply with the ridiculous requirements of the seemingly innocent chain mail.

    Lastly, I'm saving this particular post so I can link people to it in the future when they send me chain mails. Honestly, thank you for thinking of me and showing me how much you care. But stoppit dammit. Now pass this on to 10 friends within the hour or you owe me a bottle of red.


    Related Links

    Chain Letters

    Stop Sending Me Chain Letters Because They Can Be Dangerous!

    Please don't copy and paste this as your Facebook status....just don't ~