Thursday, August 14, 2008

MASS-ively annoying-EMAILS

Today I received two mass emails. I have been receiving more and more of these lately. And I don't particularly like finding them in my inbox. Even if it's for a good cause or something incredibly cute or funny. What ever the case I tend to loose a little faith in the person sending or forwarding the message.

Here's why. Even though the messages in the mass emails are varied there is generally a bias point of view and some outrageous point intended to get the reader to rally behind the cause. Maybe it's something like this:

Recycling- The Hidden Evil Of The 21st Century.

Stop recycling!
In towns across America illegal immigrants are collecting fingerprints and DNA from discarded bottles and cans. Once the personal leavings are collected and cataloged the recyclables are then traded, right out in the open, for cash at various locations that are likely in or near the neighborhood where you and your family live! The money the collected goes to funding identity theft and human cloning. And if that isn't scary enough soon enough it will be taught in schools that it in order to save the earth we must all recycle. When the real truth is, the only way to save the planet is to save America. And in order to save America we must save every bit of human waste in the very bottles we bring into our homes.

So I urge you to think twice before you toss out that bottle of pickle juice little Jimmy just gulped down after his soccer match. What is really being recycled? Glass or our children?
Stop recycling! Stop the invasion of an army of our own children- except they will be clones armed with glass shooting guns made of glass that can easily avoid detection by metal detectors.

This is clearly not a real issue, as of yet, but this is pretty much how most mass emails sound when I read through them. And tag lines like- "I don't know who wrote this but I thought you should read it and pass it on" or "I saw this on the news" and "A hitch-hiker sent this to me and when I wrote back they were gone" -never help the validity of the message.

Like I said in the beginning I found two of these in my email today. And each of the mass emails had a mass response, which is something I find more irritating than the initial email. However today I happened to take a moment and respond to each of the writers on an individual basis.

The first one was very thoughtful, polite and open in their dialog with me. It felt like a civil conversation between two people who have similar and opposing views. I felt a sense of respect from them and hope they felt the same from me.

Then second interaction I would like to share with you. I will refer to the other person as A. Because that's how they signed their email . And my response will be represented by an M. That just stands for "Me".

In response to a mass email calling for votes.

A- "Seriously...not everyone shares the same political views. Stop already."

M- "I agree that we do not all share the same views political or otherwise- I don't like tomato's. Nor do I like mass emails. One of the things I like less than mass emails is being included on the mass email response to the mass email. Please be the change you want to see in the world and respond only to the sender.
All the best"

A- "Are you kidding me. That was just lame. Keep to yourself and I don't need someone to tell me to be the change blah blah blah"

M- "I am not kidding you. Where is the lameness in not wanting be included in a mass responses? Can you explain to me how you have the right to tell me to keep to myself when it was you who instigated this dialog by sending me an email? Is that a specific guideline I should follow or is it more of a general rule that every one should follow?"

I haven't heard back from A. And if I do that will be the last of it. I have already given this more time than was intended.

So in closing I ask that you not include me on your mass emails (unless it's an invitation to a party or BBQ or boat race- is that a regatta?). And please if you need to respond to a mass email, simply respond to the sender. It's just good etiquette. So please help get the word out.
Good luck will come to you if you copy these last two paragraphs and forward them to 10 of your closest friends. If even half the people on your list will do the same when it comes back to you, you will find out who your real friends are and who had a secret crush on you in the fifth grade. It's so true it's creepy.


jordan said...

I don't like Mass emails but I believe the proper email etiquette requires that you "bcc" the recipients so that no one else has access to their email address. That way a "mass response" is impossible.

Brooke said...

Did you make up that recycling story? Maybe you should send it in a mass email and see if you get it later--kind of like seeing how fast a rumor can circle a room! You are too funny Mark.

randy said...

I'm having a boat racing party on Saturday, would you like to attend? If so, please bring yourself, a boat to race, 3 other boats to race, and 3 drivers to race the boats against you.

I'll bring chips.