Okay, I’m going to rant…just a little…okay, maybe a lot.
I love email! I love that it makes keeping in touch with friends and family so easy and so fast! But let’s be serious. It isn’t perfect. The ease with which we transmit information via email often means that we don’t take as much time to consider what we’re sending. We just send it! Because you never know!
Your warning could save a friend’s computer from a virus attack or hacker!
You could save a friend from the newest schemes of dangerous criminals and scam artists!
You could save a friend from cancer!
You could defeat the evil plans of evil people by signing this petition!
The list goes on and on. You know! You’ve gotten these mass forwarded emails! Come on, you’ve sent them, haven’t you! Because really, you never know! You could save a life! The info must be true, right? It came from someone you trust and respect. That person would never send you false information, would they? So you don’t check it out. You just send it on. Because you might save a life…or something.
Except so much of it ISN’T TRUE!
Long-wearing lipstick won’t give you lead poisoning. Atheists didn’t get “Touched by an Angel” removed from network TV. And so far, every heart-breaking email I’ve received about a missing child has been a fake!
How do I know? Because no matter who sent me the email, I check out its validity before I send it to anyone else. I didn’t always do this, but too many times I have forwarded emails only to discover later that they weren’t true! I might as well be outright lying! I couldn’t have that on my conscience.
Now you may be thinking, Geez, Allison, who has the time to check out every email? Well, you’d be surprised how little time it actually takes. You really only need to know one web address:
This website is dedicated to discovering the truth (or lack of) in email forwards. I have yet to receive a forward that I couldn’t find on Snopes. In fact, I’m going to put a link to it in the sidebar, in case you can’t remember it!
So check it out and make sure it’s true before you send it on! Unless it’s am e-petition. Those are useless no matter how true they are. Thank about it! I show up at the White house with a petition. It has 240,000 signatures on it! Pretty impressive!Now our voices will be heard! Except, oh, wait, they aren’t real signatures. Half of them aren’t even full names. You can’t tell where these people came from. There’s not a single shred of evidence to prove that these are real people. Useless!
If you feel strongly about an issue, do something about it! Call your representative and tell the intern hired to answer the phone and listen to you. You don’t have to have a lengthy conversation. Just say, “I would like to tell So-an-so that I feel this way about this issue. Thank you.”
Don’t know who your reps are? I can help you with that too!
www.whoismyrepresentative.com This website will give you names and contact info on your Representatives and Senators
www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml This website will additionally give you info on your governor and state legislators
Now I feel at peace. You are fully equipped to stop the spread of false information and then pick up the phone and make a real difference.
As I liked to always tell my students as they left my classroom, Go make the world a better place!