Apparently after witnessing what a Forward Button could do, imagining the devastation it could cause if it fell into the wrong hands, one of its creators quoted a remembered fragment from the Bhagavad Gita. ‘I am become Death,’ he said, ‘the destroyer of worlds.’ Another one was reported to have said, ‘Now we’re all sons of bitches.’
(Or was that the people that made the atomic bomb? No I’m pretty sure it was the Forward Button.)
Oh the Forward Button, the bane of my life. Of course not all forwarded emails are bad. It’s nice for example when people send you things that they think you might enjoy like some of the things that a friend of my mother-in-law's sends me sometimes (pictures of tiny cute babies for example, made out of marzipan or an article about herbal remedies) or something I received from another friend just last week which I enjoyed very much; a clip with Shohreh Aghdashloo in Will and Grace.
However I find that most people these days abuse the power that has been put in their hands by arming them with a Forward Button. I’m talking about those people that forward any old rubbish that is emailed to them to everyone in their address book.
The interesting thing is that some of these people count forwarding all this junk around as emailing and even get a bit funny when you don’t reply to them and sulkily say things like, ‘Well you never write.’
In my opinion I’m actually doing our relationship a world of good by keeping my mouth shut and refraining from replying with my true feelings about every kitten picture, any dodgy article that has the tiniest reference to Iran in it or all those chain letters that they send me, but in their opinion they have sent me five emails a day for the past god-knows-how-long and deserve many replies, an award for the best emailer of the year and possibly a standing ovation.
Is it not time do you think that before giving any old emailing so and so a forward button, they were first made to pass a little test? Maybe a little something like this:
Question number 1- You receive an email that contains twenty close-up photos of different flowers, do you
a. Without thinking, forward it to everyone in your address book
b. Think about who in your address book would really love to see twenty close-up photos of different flowers and only send it to them
c. Destroy the email on the spot
Question number 2- You receive an email which contains a boring ten minute slide show with pictures of sunrises and sunsets with a cheesy peacy lovy message stuck on each slide with the last one being something like, ‘Send this to ten people and you will have good luck for ten days, fail to send this to ten people and something nasty will happen to you in the next ten days’ do you
a. Think you could do with some good luck and straightaway forward it to everyone in your address book, hoping that the more people you send it to, the more good luck will come your way
b. Hate getting these kinds of emails and never know what to do with them. You think you are an intelligent person and don’t believe in this sort of thing but you still hesitate before deleting the email because if you’re really honest with yourself, you are kind of scared. Meanwhile your phone rings, you get up to answer it; you trip on the carpet and nearly break your neck. Thinking the bad luck must have started, you run back to your computer and forward the email to ten people in your address book but in the subject box you write ‘So sorry about this but I can really do with some good luck at the moment’ followed by a winking smiley ;-) or a few of these ‘!’
c. Destroy the email on the spot
Question number 3- A travelling friend emails you some pictures from his or her travels, do you
a. Straightaway forward it to everyone in your address book that knows this person
b. Forward it to everyone in your address book that knows this person but before doing that you will take a look at the list of recipients so at least you won’t send the pictures to the people who have already received them once
c. You take a look at the pictures but won’t forward them to anyone else thinking that maybe your friend wanted only you and the other people that he or she sent that email to, to see those pictures
Question number 4- You receive a forwarded email the first line of which is ‘This may sound like a scam but it definitely isn’t! Do not delete or you will be sorry that you did!’ Do you
a. Read the rest of the email which is something along these lines, ‘This is not a scam! My friend did this and a week later she woke up to find that she had become Katherine Zeta Jones. She divorced Michael Douglas, married Brad Pitt and lived happily ever after. Another friend deleted this email. He woke up one morning from unsettling dreams and found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin. He was lying on his back as hard as armour plate, and when he lifted his head a little, he saw his vaulted brown belly, sectioned by arch-shaped ribs, to whose dome the cover, about to slide off completely, could barely cling. His many legs pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, were waving helplessly before his eyes. ‘What's happened to me?’ he thought. IT WAS NO DREAM.
The more people you send this email to, the higher your chances of something great happening to you will be. Good luck!’ and forward it to as many people as you can
b. Read the email. Realise it’s another stupid chain letter. Think about deleting it but you just can’t get the thought of becoming a vermin out of your head so you send it to a few people with a little note that says ‘Sorry about this but as you know I have enough on my plate at the moment without having to worry about becoming a vermin ;-)’
c. Delete the email after reading the first line ‘This may sound like a scam but it definitely isn’t!’
Yes, I know a lot of weirdoes.