EMAIL FORWARDS, THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UNTRUE
Email forwards, we all get them. Some of us love them, some of us hate them. Some friends like one thing, some another. Some believe everything, some believe nothing. Some just delete, some read and delete and some send them on. They are as common as flies on a dairy farm and to some people, just as pesky.
The writing of this hub was prompted by a response I received to a forward I sent to a friend. It was about a dog, serving in the war then included the most wonderful thoughts about pets at the end. I LOVED it of course. I am a huge sucker for anything animal. The story said the dog had saved 4 soldiers by ripping the throats out of the guards holding them. I personally could have done without that visual being connected to a loving creature like a dog, but was still glad the dog's loyalty and usefulness were being brought to attention. The words at the end were a “Pet's Ten Commandants” and were so wonderful they make you cry.
I happily sent it on to most of my animal lover friends then received an email back from one of them. She had gone to http://www.snopes.com/snopes.asp to verify the story and found it to be untrue and send the link back to me. This happens often enough it got me thinking about the subject. I have 3 or 4 friends who are obsessed with fact checking emails and doing their best to rid the world of fictitious forwards. I applaud their efforts, but must say I think it is an insurmountable chore so I will leave it to them. http://www.snopes.com/photos/military/brutus.asp
I personally love the funny ones and having been in construction all my life, I rarely get offended by even the most saucy of them, but many of my friends HATE that kind of thing. I also love animal ones and the friendship ones remind me people care, so I like them too. Anything that has a positive message will be forwarded by me. I have been on a “everything positive” kick for a while and really like it, so I have quit forwarding and mostly even reading the political ones.
It has started to be a bit of a challenge to remember who I can forward a particular one to and who I can't, as I have dozens of friends I email. I must remember if it is spicy don't send it to Patty, Jane or Debbie, if it needs verified don't send it to John, Bill, or Regan. If it is Christian don't send it to Diane, Sue or Chris. If it is spiritual but not religious don't send it to....... well you get the idea. I would never intentionally upset anyone but frankly don't have time to sort each and every email into it's appropriate category. This leaves me with only two choices. I can quit forwarding emails, in which case I would quit getting any and I would miss them, or I can just keep asking my friends to be tolerant if I send the wrong thing.
I used to spend extra time verifying every one before sending it on, just to avoid the scolding emails of my fact checker friends. I don't do that anymore. To me it is first, a waste of time. A good example is the “NEW VIRUS THREAT!!” You get a forward warning you of the impending doom your computer will suffer if you open an email with “XXXXXX” in the subject line. OK, I suppose I would want to check out the validity of it if I was expecting an email titled like that, but if not, am I so tempted to open emails from people I don't know that I would click on it anyway? And if the warning was wrong and I avoid clicking on a similar email will I miss winning the lottery or the letter of my million dollar inheritance by NOT clicking on it due to this false information? I think not.
Another reason I quit verifying them is, often I was happy and upbeat after reading the email, but the picking apart of it and finding untruths or bad connections only strips the joy. Why would I keep doing that intentionally? I received one email picturing about 5 piglets with tiger skin looking coats on them and they were asleep a crossed a sleeping tigers side. I thought it was precious! How cute! Well, as usual I sent it on to my friends only to get a sad and heartbreaking letter back from one of them. She had verified the info and found the tiger had raised many piglets and lived in a less than reputable zoo. She said they were using and abusing this as a photo opt to get money for their zoo, yet did not provide for the animals very well. She asked me not to forward anything else.
I was crushed. Not because she didn't want anymore forwards, not because the tiger was an old hand at raising pigs, not even because I was now aware of one more imperfect animal care provider. It was because so many of us let the world and our own actions, rob us of our joy. My heart hurt for her and all of us who are trapped in focusing on the bad things instead of the good ones. Every situation has good and bad. I encourage everyone to embrace good and DON'T GO LOOKING FOR BAD, trust me, it can find you even with out your extra efforts.
My hope is that everyone will lighten up a bit and enjoy the simple things in life. A wonderful picture of animals, a joke that makes you laugh till you cry. The knowledge that your friends all love you. That they send you email forwards to remind you they do, not to upset, anger or offend you. The world is a tough enough place, don't add to it by spending effort and time looking for something bad in everything. If you get a great animal picture smile and open the next email. If you get a virus warning don't fret over whether it is accurate or not, just be thankful for the reminder to be careful what you open, and for the friend who worried about you. If you see something you don't like, delete it!
If you get a forward that says “The world is ending in 2 weeks, help save the planet, please send all your money to sucker.com", you may want to verify that one first! Otherwise, if it isn't hurting anyone, don't look for ways to turn it ugly, just take everything with a grain of salt, learn to relax and enjoy every chance you get and don't pour your energy, emotional well being, or intention into looking for the bad.