Email Stories

As a purveyor of information, I think I have developed a habit that my friends and relatives may perceive as bitchy. Whenever I receive a forward in my inbox about some kid dying with cancer or (just today) 23,000 UPS uniforms missing and believed to be stolen by terrorists, I have to check the story on Snopes. After I have confirmed or, most often, found the story to be false, I Reply To All and let John Public know they should not be fooled by the latest falsity.
I have, only once, found the details in one of these emails to be true. The one email I received that was true was about a statue made by an Iraqi whose origins seemed very far fetched. Alas, my disbelief was short lived.

I will go on record to say the following:

  • I will not stop “replying to all” with a message that the email you just sent me is no more than a figment of someone’s imagination. You sent the urban legend to me and everyone you know. Everyone deserves to know that it is not true and that you willy nilly send forwards to people. (though the majority of your contacts probably already knows that)
  • I rather dislike urban legends that are created for the sole purpose of either making people cry or afraid.
  • I really hate email forwards of this nature.

–Jane, on record

8 thoughts on “Email Stories

  • November 21, 2006 at 2:31 pm
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    Me too, the worst offender is my mother whom I have a hard time chastising. I think I have received every “single woman stalked in grocery store, man hiding in trunk, or quick send this to everyone you know ebola lives in Starbucks condiments” email chain out there. I guess I understand that she is concerned for my safety but I think she would probably benefit from another hobby or two.

  • November 21, 2006 at 2:52 pm
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    Big round of applause for Jane!! Misinformation is SO prevalent in our society – and many, many people are so willing to believe information related to them in mass emails. In all honesty, I don’t even these emails anymore (and that may be why many have stopped sending them to me).

  • November 21, 2006 at 2:56 pm
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    I had to laugh when I read this – this morning I received one of these from an old acquaintance from high school (one of my favorites, all about Ollie North and his fear of Osama bin Laden), so I promptly went to Snopes, got the link to the debunking page, and Replied to All.

    I have managed to get my forward-happy uncle to take me off his list of people to forward crap to by doing this; I consider that to be a truly worthwhile return for my time. (He does still send me the bad jokes and “forward this if you really love Jesus” ones though.)

  • November 21, 2006 at 4:25 pm
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    That’s much more effective than my modus operandi: delete the offending forward. 🙂

  • November 22, 2006 at 9:45 am
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    I do the same thing – I have an aunt who likes to send out the most far-fetched sounding items. As Jenn notes, that doesn’t stop the religious ones from coming.

  • November 22, 2006 at 11:18 am
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    Our embedded role in larger society includes staunching urban rumors. I do that within my family circles. Go Jane!

  • November 22, 2006 at 1:48 pm
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    I’m so glad to know I’m not the only person who does this (looks forwarded emails up on Snopes and then replies to all)! I keep hoping that by doing this, and letting others know I found the information by looking on Snopes or other hoax-busting sites, that they will start doing the same thing. I’ve even gone so far as to send specific emails to individuals about a “cool new site” I’ve found where you can look up this stuff. Alas, the main offenders never seem to catch on….

  • December 12, 2006 at 5:06 pm
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    I have to agree. I got an email from a lady saying she was dying of cancer. I sent her a reply and prayed for her. I prayed that if she were sincere that God would touch her and that if she was Bogus as i believed–he would REALLY touch her.

    But whats worse than that was the time this woman from Colorado sent my husband a shirt through the mail! She only signed her last name. I called and thanked her…after throwing the shirt in the trash….

    Merry Christmas,

    Have a good day and God bless

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