Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Junk Mail

You're on your way out to the mailbox with dreams of a check from Ed McMahon just waiting in your mailbox to be cashed. You open it up and your disgust takes over.




Another Bill.

Credit Card offer.

Another Credit card offer.


Oooh. What's this? You see a letter from someone you don't know that says "FREE MONEY OFFER INSIDE". Well, its no Ed McMahon, but you won't turn down free money. You tear open the letter open with such wreckless abandon that you cut your finger. The letter says if you send this guy a dollar he will send you a list of addresses and if you send the same letter to that list of addresses they will in turn send you a $1 each and in just a few short months you will be sipping drinks in Cancun. Sound to good to be true? You know it is so you throw it away.  How hard was that?


Okay, here's another scenario. You sit down at your computer and you're thinking "please let someone email me today. Anyone. Doesn't matter who. Maybe you'll get a 'joke of the day' email. Let's see. As you open up your inbox it chimes and tells you you're still wanted. Let's see what we have…


Junk mail .

Junk mail.

More junk mail.

Credit card advertisement

Viagra offer… ew.


Oooh. What's this? You see an email from someone you don't know that says "FREE MONEY OFFER INSIDE". Well, getting free money from an email is better than no money at all. Once open the email states that if you forward it on to 12 of your friends you will get $100 gift card to BestBuy. I could use that!  So, what if it's too good to be true; it's free, and only takes a little time. Forwarding to friends….and to family….and then to my business colleagues….and SENT.


What's the problem with this scenario?


Simple. Email has completely broken down our natural abilities to tell JUNK from REAL. Why did we throw away the one email, but forward the other one without even thinking? Here are some people's thought processes:


  1. It doesn't take much time. Wrong. Though it may only take a few seconds of your time it takes much more from your friends, family, and colleagues to delete your 120 forwards you send them each day. Also, the bandwidth used to send internet is a staggering number. You may not think it costs you time, but eventually it will.
  2. It doesn't cost anything. Also wrong. Not only does it cost you bandwidth, time, and energy, but it might also cost you a friendship. No matter what the email says I am still your friend if I don't send it back, but you may not be my friend if you send another one.
  3. It won't really hurt anyone. Apart from all of the other reasons I've given not to do it there are even bigger risks involved. You know how annoying it is to scroll down through pages of meaningless text to get down to the actual email….but that's not meaningless text. Its email address. Your email address. Your friend's email, your friend's brother's mother's friend's boss….you get the picture. Why is this fact important? You've just been added to a spammer's mega list of actual active email addresses. Good luck getting rid of it from here on out. Your friend might not be a spammer. However, you don't know anything about your friend's cousin's friend's uncle, do you? That's the problem.


The point is…be safe emailing and don't forward something unless YOU HAVE READ it. Don't even open it if you don't know who it's from, and most importantly if it sounds too good to be true….well, you know the rest.


Until next time…hopefully sooner than later...

God Bless,

God Bless,
Bob Speakman

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