Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you today to call for an end to forwarding most email.
Many years ago, back when AOL was unleashed on the Internet, the popularity of forwards really, really exploded. It had always been there – but this really punched things up a few notches. Forwards became the easy way to share hundreds of email addresses with your friends – and add in a little, 2-line joke at the end.
When that did happen, and a few of my pals were new to the net, I just dropped them a line. “Please don’t send me forwards”, I asked. “I’ve seen them all”. And while I’m certain I haven’t seen all of them, I no longer have the desire to see any of them.
I’m now getting a mildly steady stream of forwards. One person sending me such forwards is actually a student who dropped my class last semester – decided to go ahead and send me “VIRUS WARNING” and “Funniest Joke Ever!!!” emails – and that’s never good. I’m this close to considering these spam – in a sense, they are personal spam.
Therefore, I’m calling for an end to forwarding. Forwarding, as a tool, has been abused for too long. Forwarding is useful when you receive a message and want to share it with someone else – but not when 8,950 people have already seen it and you want to share it with another 75.
If a message has a “To:” line that’s a mile long, and you have an itchy Forward finger, I implore you to reconsider. Think about the sheer amount of bandwidth it takes to send that email, and how many mail servers will see it. Think about the people you’re sending it to – will they, in turn, send it to others? And please, for Pete’s sake, no legit virus warning will come over email.
Email is still a great tool. Commercial spam is annoying, but can be managed. Personal spam should be eradicated – or at least severely limited. Let’s start now. No more forwards. -pm
Posted in Everyday Life