When I originally posted yesterday’s poem about sucky youth leaders, way back in 2005 (yep, eight whole years ago), I soon afterward got this in my email:
Dude! I LOVED the poem on your web site. That was pure genius. I e-mailed it to thirty people I know, they’ll totally love it cuz we’ve all had awful youth pastors like that before.
Emailed to 30 people. Ugh.
Y’see kids, back in 2005, Facebook was still limited to college students. So how did people pass around all their favorite pictures of cats asking for cheeseburgers? Email. We emailed them to one another. So every day, I would get on my dial-up Internet, slowly wait for Hotmail to finish loading, and discover 20 to 30 “forwards” from people: Forwarded emails which were slowly being passed around the Internet, containing jokes, links, rumors, paranoid rants, amusing photos… you know, all the stuff we now post (and ignore) on Facebook.
Thank God for Facebook. Now we can use email for its original intent: Email. Well, and ads for penis enlargement. But mostly email.
So, for spreading all that spam, I called that fan an evil bastard. He didn’t appreciate that. But as I pointed out on my blog at the time: I do not write things so people can clog one another’s inboxes. I know Blogger gives people the ability to email my posts to other people. I have no problem with that, provided those folks request to read the things I write. (I would think it’d be much easier to actually go to the blog and read it, but if your workplace, or your overly restrictive parents or school, blocks Blogger, then I can understand using email as a workaround.) If you email one of my posts to someone unrequested, in my experience you’re far more likely to alienate people with my writings, than amuse them.
But come on, thirty emails? The poem wasn’t that good. So I told him privately, and posted publicly, “Stop raping their mailboxes with crap. Especially my crap.”
I still don’t like forwarded emails. Sometimes I still gotta use dial-up, which is slow enough without having to slog through useless emails which some fool found amusing. I’ve told friends, “Don’t send me that stuff anymore. Talk to me. Tell me what’s new with you. Then include a hotlink to whatever funny or interesting thing you’ve found on the Internet. But I wanna actually hear from you.” Well, a few of them did… and a few of them simply wouldn’t stop sending me forwards, so I blocked ’em and send them directly to the trash. Some of those folks are now Facebook friends. They never post anything about their personal lives. Well, until they have children. Then they never post anything about their personal lives, but there are loads of baby photos. Which I can live with. At least it’s not in my inbox.