Monday, August 17, 2009

Email

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!

CSC_2241 WHAT?!? Not 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:

www.snopes.com

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!

7 comments:

Molly said...

I do the same. I always Snopes. I even turned it into a verb, see, just now. And then I copy/paste the article and return it to the offending party who forwarded the false info. No one ever thanks me for enlightening them, though. Hm.

Indy said...

Yes, make the world a better place, by not passing on forwards. Even those sappy "friendship" chains are so impersonal, preachy, sappy, annoying as all heck, and they aren't dealt with quite as much on hoax-busting sites because there are just so many of them, and they mutate, fragment, and merge, piggyback other forwards, you name it. And glurge, those terribly sappy stories that usually try to make you cry and pass them along to your friends - gah! Most aren't true or at the very least, can't be verified one way or the other. You can also recommend http://www.truthorfiction.com and http://breakthechain.org two more sites I can recommend for memory. And this one http://chainletters.pbworks.com So yes, let's make the world a better place and discourage the feeding of the trolls who start these sick hoaxes and other assorted annoying leg-pulls.

Anonymous said...

My gripe is that I have some "friends" that only send me forwards. Never a personal note, phone call, etc. The only time I hear from them is with random - sometimes false - forwards. Some friends!
Great pictures!
Kim

Callie said...

I agree, and I love Snopes! It can also be fun to browse the most popular stories on Snopes or look at all the strange photos.

Indy said...

Yes, that really bothers me too, getting a notify that I've received a new email or Facebook post from someone I haven't heard from in ages - only to find it's a stupid freaking chain forward! This riles me up especially when it is one of those "Friendship is like" "Don't let your friendship die, show your friends you care!" forwards. What the chain is just trying to do is get you to forward it, and it claims to be the way to show friendship. In this type of "friendship" chain is often a sermon, mushy story, poem, all meant to make you think that if you don't forward it right now, to your friends, they'll never know you care about them. Bull! The truth is, I'd feel a lot more cared about if people emailed me a short "Hey, how's it going, here's what's going on with me." and catching me up on what's going on with them. Not some preachy, superficial chain that tries to run your life and claim to tell you how to be a good friend, while guilting and insulting you for not forwarding it on. It makes me wonder just what my friends actually think of me when all they send is this crap. They can refuse personal requests or ideas that come from their friends, but they sure can't resist the demands of every chain letter they spam their friends with, and it's all they ever do.

Bridgette Boudreaux said...

I love this post! I am a snopes fanatic! I also love to reply all with the true story once I find it. I have found that this method greatly decreases the amount of fwd I get to my inbox.

Skye said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was eventually going to write a post on this topic, you saved me the trouble.