The Friendly Spam Dilemma
This article is being written at the request of my sister-in-law, who thought 'friendly spam' ought to have a page of its own on my website.
What is 'Friendly Spam'? It is a 'forward' sent to you by a well meaning friend, who thought you would enjoy it.
You know what I'm talking about. The 'virtual snowball fight' that you've seen 50 times every winter for the last 5 years, but every year someone else discovers it and thinks it's a new and novel idea.
It's the 'forward this to 20 people and you'll have good luck for a year' email that you have deleted from your inbox 500 times, yet it still keeps appearing.
It's the story of how the government is trying to outlaw Christian radio stations and other broadcasts, and you must sign this electronic petition and pass it on.
You know what I'm talking about.
Unfortunately, when you are the recipient of these things, you are fairly limited in your options. Here are three suggestions:
2. Politely explain to your friend that you don't have time to read all the things people forward to you, but if they want to write a real
email, you'll definitely take time to read that.
3. Get mad and yell at your friend (or, alternately, send them a nasty email that's ALL IN CAPITAL LETTERS)
Obviously, I recommend either #1 or #2.
Now, what if you're the person who likes to send
forwards? I have a suggestion for you.
I have a pastor friend who loves sending out humorous stories, inspirational thoughts, prayer requests, and family newsletters by email. A couple years ago he sent out an email which went something like this:
Dear friends, often things cross my desk that I think many of you would enjoy reading, but I don't want to waste your time if you don't want to receive these forwards from me. So I'm sending out this email to ask you which kinds of emails you would like to receive.
Do you want to receive funny stuff? inspirational stories? prayer requests?
Just let me know which kinds of emails you want to get from me. If I don't hear back from you, I won't put you in any of my distribution lists.
What a great
idea! I love it!A Helpful Hint
If you like sending out forwards to people, consider doing what my pastor friend did! It's a courteous and polite way of finding out what people want