I used to like receiving email. Back in the day when I had an email account on AOL & the chipper robot voice would exclaim, “You’ve got mail!”, it was a happy occasion.
Now, here it is more than a decade later, I’ve got email accounts on Yahoo!, Google & some other shitty site that I never remember to check more than once a month.
I’ve got widgets on my desktop to notify me of new mail – they’re more silent than the robot voice. (He really got annoying after a while, didn’t he?)
Of course, I only bother to take a gander at those widgets after I’ve taken the time to respond to my Facebook messages & Twitter responses. I think I’ve still got a Myspace account floating around out there & I respond to the comments on this blog via email, too.
When I finally do take a look at my inbox, I might have anywhere between 5 – 50 emails. Of course, my email usage increased exponentially once I moved to France, as the people that I used to see everyday have become people that I never see & only communicate with via the internet. Shit happens.
So, you see where I’m going with this? It’s a lot of internet communication.
Almost daily, I sift through emails. I forward, respond, delete & archive.
Sometimes, I block email addresses or I just don’t read your fucking email. Why is that?
Well… I’ll tell you.
1. You send me political, liberal bashing “jokes” pushing your conservative agenda on me.
Here’s the thing – I’m so liberal that the neo-cons would likely consider me to be a goddamn commie. Fine. However, sending me political propaganda disguised as “jokes” that call me, or people with similar opinions “idiots” or implying a mental deficiency in any way will not rally people to your side.
Possession of someone’s email address does not imply that they share all or any of your opinions.
2. You’re a fucking racist.
I’ve received too many emails from people bashing Mexicans since this whole border issue exploded. People send me these things knowing that I’m from Colorado, which has a large number of Mexican & Mexican-American people. Those people being insulted in these unfunny “jokes” are my friends, you inconsiderate tool.
Even worse, are the people who send me anti-Arab or anti-Muslim propaganda. This one really gets under my skin & festers. My last name is Arabic. So, thank you everyone who has sent me bits of witless, racist humor stating that my friends &/or family members are dirty terrorists that sodomize donkeys.
3. Speaking of Muslims…
The anti-Muslim “jokes” are tacky, ignorant & reflect poorly on anyone who sends them out. It displays a profound ignorance of theology, a horrifying misunderstanding of other cultures & is just bigotry & xenophobia floating around unwanted in my inbox. Remember, fundies of any religion are scary & abhorrent – regardless of which God(s) they choose.
4. One more thing about religion:
I could care less if you get on your knees to sip wine & have a Jesus wafer, if you get naked, paint yourself blue & howl at the moon, or if you can’t eat pork. None of that concerns me. It only matters to me if you are an asshole, or if you are not an asshole. If you like to chat about your wafers, blue body paint or life without bacon, that’s fine with me. I’ll listen. I may even do so with interest.
However, if you send me email after email touting the reasons why your religion is best, what God likes or doesn’t like & why other religions suck, I won’t listen. Proselytizing by email is not, to the best of my knowledge, an effective method of conversion.
5. You’re spamming the shit out of me.
I can’t believe that people are still forwarding out this crap from 10 years ago, these emails that claim to reward users with coupons, money, free enemas, laptops & other glitzy prizes if you’ll just send it to everyone in your address book. THESE ARE HOAXES.
If you see something that says, “I checked this on Snopes, so I know it’s true”, then you probably shouldn’t believe it. Don’t take a stranger’s word for it – check Snopes yourself before sending it on to 50 more people. You’re only polluting the inboxes of your friends & family, bullshitting the more gullible people that you know & not to mention, making yourself look a bit like a dim bulb.
This also applies to: product recalls, computer virus warnings, urban legends, letters from George Carlin or Andy Rooney & special numerical codes to dial into my cell phone.
6. You send me things that don’t apply to me.
First of all, I live in France & have lived here for the past 4 years. There is no need to send me repeated notices about the bake sale taking place in your little rural town of Yokel, Indiana. I probably won’t book a flight just to be there for that. I also have no need for announcements regarding the grand opening of the new Piggly Wiggly.
Now, don’t get it twisted – I don’t mind when people send me funny shit, off-the-wall bits of interesting things that they’ve found over the internet, or even more bizarre – they write just to say, “hello”. That’s all fine & good. To be fair, most people have no problem practicing basic email etiquette.
For example… using their blind copy (BCC) option when sending something to several people that do not know one another.
Which, uh… reminds me. Thanks a lot for giving my email address out to the 40 or 50 people that you know who are too simian to discern between “reply” & “reply all”. It’s really nice to have strangers emailing me in between sorting out the spammy shit that you’ve sent me bitching about Obama’s birth certificate.
Most people these days also seem to comprehend that repeatedly forwarding a “petition” is absurd, that online petitions can only be signed by going onto a website. There is no government chump who sits around all day scrolling through various “email petitions”. Government chumps have better things to do. Probably.
What it boils down to is common sense & common courtesy. Is it really so difficult?