I Love Email, But….

imageI love email – I do – really. I have to love it – I certainly get enough, and send enough; so I have to kind of, sort of – love it. There are some issues with personal email though, that tone down the love quotient – “unlovely” issues.

Number one on my “unlovely” list – the “forward to everyone you know” email. Too often, this type of email turns out to be plain old B.S – otherwise known as a myth. I do wish that my connections who forward this type of aggravating nonsense would drop by Snopes.com (the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation), before hitting the send button.

I wish I’d written the following rant regarding forwarded emails – it sums up my perspective, nicely –

If you’re going to forward something, at least send me something mildly amusing. I’ve seen all the “send this to 10 of your closest friends, and this poor, wretched excuse for a human being will somehow receive a nickel from some omniscient being”.

Show a little intelligence and think about what you’re actually contributing to by sending out these forwards. Chances are it’s our own unpopularity.

The point being? If you get some chain letter that’s threatening to
leave you shagless or luckless for the rest of your life, delete

Don’t piss people off by making them feel guilty about a leper in Botswana with no teeth who has been tied to the ass of a dead elephant for 27 years and whose only salvation is the 5 cents per letter he’ll receive if you forward this email.

Now forward this to everyone you know.

Otherwise, tomorrow morning your underwear will turn carnivorous and will consume your genitals.

Number two on my list – the “hang my email address out there for everyone to see” email – or, the famous “I’ve never heard of the Bcc (Blind Carbon Copy) option in email.”

Here’s an example of this type of email I received just yesterday, in my private email inbox, from a friend. There are more than three times as many exposed email addresses as I’ve shown in this screen capture.

Lazy email 2

So what’s the big deal? Well, here’s the big deal –

This email has taken away my control of who has access to my private email address. I have no way of controlling how often my email address gets forwarded or, to whom.

Experience has taught me – there is now a good chance that this address will end up on a spammers list. Spammers comb the Web specifically seeking out email address which have been published in the clear. Since I have lost control over this address it’s now fair game for spammers. Drat!

Contrast this with the following forwarded email (again, from a friend), who has had the courtesy to use Bcc in order not to expose the recipients email addresses.

Lazy email 1

My good buddy Rick Robinette, over at What’s On My PC, has written an excellent piece on Bcc – Tip: Bcc Protects Private Email Addresses – which is definitely worth a read.

Here’s a sample from that article –

The benefits of using the Bcc field is simply this. You are protecting the privacy of other people. Currently I have approximately (5)-five email accounts that I use for specific purposes, from a variety of email services, with one of those accounts being my primary email account. I am very protective of that primary email account address and do not want it thrown about for the spammers to get hold of or for strangers to see.

For example, I have found people’s email addresses in forwarded emails that I know and have not seen for years. They are very surprised when I contact them; and, will often ask, “How did you get my email?”. I explain that I simply pulled it from a forwarded email.

Number three on my list – the “religious and political commentary” email. This type of email (usually a forwarded email), often tends to lean, more than slightly, to a rightwing extremist point of view – an unbalanced opinion, decidedly unsupported by facts.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate political commentary or discourse but, I can’t help wondering if any consideration is ever given (by the sender), to my personal point of view. It seems – not. Annoying as hell.

There you have it – my rant for the month of September.   Smile

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Filed under Email, Myths, Opinion, Point of View

8 responses to “I Love Email, But….

  1. TeX

    Hey Bill,

    A little early in the month for a rant isn’t it? 😛 I feel your pain!

    I know my biggest out of all three is the “Hanging My Email Address” out there for everybody to see. The other two are always taken care of by the big delete button, but there really is nothing you can do when people send out your email address like this.

    Very frustrating

    But cheer up Bill, It’s a holiday…o wait, do you have a “Labor Day” up there in the great North?

    • Hey TeX,

      That thoughtless email I got on Friday really frustrated me – so, it seemed like the perfect time for the monthly rant. 🙂

      Yes, you’re right – there isn’t much that can be done except perhaps, a little education for the offending parties. But, that may just open a new bag of issues.

      Just as in the US Labor Day has been celebrated here since 1882.



  2. TeX

    Hey Bill

    Sorry about the name on the last comment, I use the same gravatar on all my comments and forgot to change it. Could you change it to TeX please?



  3. David Revie

    Thanks I agree If I intend to forward something I always delete the email address from former forwarder’s. I believe that I do not want to spread their addresses any further. I then use bcc. I wish all people would do the same Thanks for the reminder.

  4. I usually get the whole trifecta of those pet peeves, rolled into one email from not-so-well-meaning friends (fiends?) and relatives. Some right-wing diatribe, with a send-to list of 100 people (including me, dammit!), ending with the tagline: “send this to at least 10 people or [some really bad thing] will happen.”

    Then, the fourth pet peeve occurs: the reply-alls that begin to bounce back and forth as enthusiastic readers offer their $.02 worth on the matter.