To Forward or Not to Forward

| February 22, 2012 | 0 Comments

So you’ve just finished reading that amazingly blessed email. You know, the one about the girl who stood up to the school bully and rescued the tortured two headed turtle only to find out it was her recently passed father come back to prove his love by throwing up half digested fish in the shape of lottery numbers causing the girl to search through the cushions of every couch in the local furniture store to gather enough change to purchase the winning ticket and then after hobbling on her orthopedic crutches for hours until she finally arrived at the local convenience store she found she was way too young to purchase the ticket but then just before the number drawing The Angel appeared and replaced her pennies with the ticket that won her the millions.

Yeah that’s the one. It is soooo touching, and those amazing pictures backed up by that unforgettable music just ran you through the whole gambit of emotions. So now you want to share it with all your friends, I mean how often do you receive this powerful of a message in an email. Everyone should read this. Or at the very least, 10 of your closest friends need to; after all you don’t want the curse for not passing it along to kill those defenseless panda cubs.




Before you ever forward an email, check a few things.

To start, do the people to whom you are forwarding the email have the same likes and dislikes as you? Is the subject of the email something they would even care about? Or are you just forcing them to add you to their junk mail list? In other words, don’t forward that cute kitty email to your friends who dislike cats, or your other friends who dislike cute, or the even the ones who only appreciate communication emails.

Two other things which should always be examined before forwarding an email are: Is it an advertising email? And does it promise you something for forwarding it? If it is some form of advertising (Big Sale, Best Politics, Horny Girls, Hugh Penis), you (or your junk mail filter) should have deleted it immediately. In fact, you shouldn’t have read it at all, much less want to forward it to someone else.

And if an email ever promises you something just for forwarding it to X number of friends, junk it. Whether the promise is made in a positive voice (You’ll have 10 days of strangers handing you cash or the most amazing image will appear on your screen) or negative voice (if you don’t forward it you won’t be able to walk straight for a week or everyone will assume you agree with puppy abuse). All do/don’t forwarding promises/threats are just scams, email can’t directly affect your life, at least not yet ;-). Just delete anything with these flavors of wrap-up, even if you agree with the rest of the email. Don’t let extorters have their way.

So it’s not advertising or extorting and you’ve decided which people will appreciate it, and you’re still determined to forward it to them. If it’s just a joke or some touching or cute story, then go for it. But if this is one of those emails that touts itself as being true, you have one more thing to do before forwarding it.

No matter how true it sounds, you still MUST discover if it is actually true. In most cases this is as easy as googling the key words. Or better yet, especially when dealing with “Truth or Fiction” in the email world, browse over to and search for your email story there. While you’re there, go ahead and look around for a while; maybe you’ll be able to figure out which previously forwarded emails caused your friends to stop responding (junk mail filters rock).

The rule: Check an email’s facts and know your receiving audience before forwarding an email.

So you confirmed the email story is true and your certain your friends will enjoy it. You’ve now satisfied The Angel, so forward away.

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Category: Rules for Public Conduct

Phil Jackson

About the Author ()

Philip "Phil" Jackson has determined that the biggest problem in the world is stupidity. "Most people don't seem to have basic Common Sense, but if they have a list of rules to follow, I have found that they will do so willingly." So after years of experience living he has decided to help out the ignorant by compiling the missing life rules into an easy to read and understandable format.

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