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Open Letter To Internet Regarding Chain Letters

Page history last edited by Capri 3 years, 7 months ago


Open Letter To Internet


Chain letter forwards - don't just stop sending them to "me," please please stop sending them to anyone, period! They're mostly bogus and unoriginal, and just keep going and going around and around, and they're lazy.

A lot of them are plain evil, the sick kid hoaxes and slander pieces about famous people.

others are just annoying and a lot of them you have to wonder "How the heck did my friend fall for this!?" Example: Send this on to 1 friend and your crush will call you, send it to 25 people and you will marry your true love in a month. "Pass this on and you'll have good luck for a year. Delete it and you'll have bad luck for 7 years." "Delete this if we are not friends" "I want this back, then I'll know you're my friend!" "Let's see if you read my emails, now pass it on and see who else reads your emails!" "Forward this friendship thingie and spread the friendship!" "Forward and see who has a crush on you/who looks at your profile!" or one of the most laughable "Forward to x number of people and a cool video will pop up!" Who makes up and who believes this hooey? "

I have feelings too, and I get pretty hurt when I find out that people have been ignoring me because they would rather send chain letter forwards to others who aren't as likely to object or caution against it.

Sending/posting a forward is not going to determine "who reads your email" or make you a better friend etc. If the chain letter has some claim in it such as forwarding it will get you more friends and not forwarding it will bring you bad luck, or that you'll be a better friend or Christian or whatever by passing on a piece of bogus junk that's been all over the net, how do you think that makes me feel, getting this from you? What sort of friend sends bullying email curses that tell you to pass them on to x number of people or to all your contacts or else? Not a real friend, or at least not one who thinks! It's idiotic, inconsiderate and rude!

How do you think it makes me feel to get all these sappy "friendship" chains with sickly smarmy stories or poems that are designed to tear-jerk, and preachy essays on what it means to be a friend, to have a friend, and how caring and sharing and loving and hugging is the only way to be and how you or I could die tomorrow, leaving the one left living to regret for the rest of their life that they didn't say those three little words via chain letter blast? And that's the only time some of you people can even be bothered to give me a second's worth of thought, and even then it isn't really a thought, I've become just another number on your list for getting these stupid forwards!?

Don't you people realize that the whole point of these emotional-yankers is to soften you up so you can't think for yourselves, and then you will just forward it on! Because that is the real goal of all chain letters! And you are all being used as cogs to keep the virals circulating!

I don't need to be preached at by some generic chain that's been passed around a million times by a million different people, and that I've gotten a number of times from 6 different friends, especially when they go on and on about what friendship is and how to be a friend. I don't want stories that are designed to put a downer into my day, or make me go "Ooooooohhhh! Aaaaaaaaawwwwwwweeee!" I don't even want true stories that have some sort of agenda twist tacked on to them to manipulate people into forwarding out of outrage or manufactured amazement or anything at all! And that goes Especially if they can't even be verified, or worse, they are out and out false.

I know what friends are, I know what hugs and kisses are. I know what love is, and you better believe me, it does not come from forwards!

You can't save your friends from criminals, the flu or anything else by passing on chain letters. You won't get money or a free laptop by sending out forwards to any number of people! A lot of the so-called facts in trivia and quote forwards are actually not true, and falsely attributed to people who never said or wrote what the chain claims they did.

Come on, you must surely know better than that! So why do you keep sending this junk to so many people? It's annoying and embarrassing!

I'm not asking you to stop writing me, just the opposite, in fact. I want to make that clear. What I'd like you to do is stop ignoring and abandoning me, and tossing me aside in favor of forwarding stupid chain letter junk to everyone else just because maybe most aren't as vocal about it as I am, or because they actually like getting this junk - after all, you must have liked it in order to send it to so many people, why is completely beyond me!

But you can be sure I'll read your notes and give you much friendship and gratitude if you write me your own words - or even send something else you've found on the net that doesn't come from a fwd chain letter.

I'm sick of you people letting yourselves get pushed around by chain letters, and yes, that's exactly what it is! You all have absolutely no problem declining a real request in person or even in an actual email I have written. You have no problem telling me you can't talk, or you can't go out for coffee with me, or you have to take a raincheck on some get-together because something pressing has come up. But my gosh, you just don't have the spine to say "NO!" to chain letter forwards!

Something else way too many of you do is assume that because we're starting to email each other, that it's okay to send forwards, that you somehow think that's keeping in touch. Well, it isn't! If you ever wonder why I don't write you any more and I've stopped replying to emails you send, it's because you sent me chain letters! Sometimes I can reply with a site to debunk the forward, but I'll rarely make comments other than discourage forwarding activity of this crap. Other times I just don't reply at all because there wasn't an entry dealing with the particular forward on hoax-debunking sites, the love/luck and friendship chains are so numerous in their mutations that even though they are manipulative bullcrap, there are just too many for every site to debunk individually. You have no idea how upset I am with you when I get these! Too upset to be civil!

I've left email chat lists that were getting ruined by forwards. One of these used to be a lot of fun until the owner decided it would be a "Christian" email list. And what that really meant was a list where she and others started posting religious chain letters!

Religious chain letters -

Yes, I am a Christian, so what I'm about to say may shock you.

Religious chain letters make me go particularly ballistic, you do not want to talk to me after sending me a religious forward with a bogus story and false prayer and guilt-tripping. Because I'd like to throttle anybody who sends these fraudulent things out

I got a lot to get off my chest about them, so this is long.

God doesn't work through spam, and some of these religious chain letters are coercive crap, hoaxes, or both. Remember the infamous anti-Harry Potter chain letters, and the bogus Touched By an Angel petition?

One of these, and I think it was a HP forward, actually originated on the satire site, theonion.com.

Other hoaxes targeting Christians, I'm pretty sure at least some were started by anti-Christian twits who wanted to get a good har har at the expense of Christians, and what better way to get a laugh at someone else's expense than by starting a hoax and setting your target audience in a panic, outrage or some sort of wave of deliberately enduced emotional state of wow?

And this holds true for those who make up dying kid hoaxes, false accusations of anything really distasteful or heinous against a company or person, or simply hoaxters who try to scare or outrage generally everybody with some tale or other, and then claim AOL said it was so and that Yahoo and Microsoft were in on it.

Hoaxters who make up chain letters that play on our emotions to get us passing their junk along are scum.

Back to religious chain letters -

Some of the worst religious chain letters, and there are a lot of them, go on about how Christians and their religion is facing all out attack from everywhere and is practically going extinct while every other religion is getting embraced and accepted, and how in order to save Christianity and stand up for God and show what a good Christian you are, you must pass on the chain letter! After all, as one such forward puts it, if you don't pass it on, you must be ashamed of God, so God is ashamed of you.

I call that cyber-bullying and blackmail. It's exactly the same as the forward that calls you heartless, lazy, or selfish if you don't pass it along to all your friends so that 2 cents can go to fight some fictional kid's disease and keep them alive.


God doesn't work through chain letters, especially if they're paranoid exaggerations and even out and out lies designed to get religious people into a panic. This panic reaches a peak around Christmas time, when every religious forward is whining about how Christmas is getting x-ed out everywhere and how saying "Happy holidays" promotes the banning of "Christmas"

One particularly offensive chain letter of this type urges all Christians to mailbomb the ACLU (the anti-Christ of the religious chain letter realm apparently) with Christmas cards in order to shut down their operation. Oh, and not just any Christmas card, they have to have scripture verses or Christian references and pictures of the Nativity, no snowmen, Santa (He's actually Satan yknow) etc.

Obviously I didn't send the twit the stack I blew in my head at him for the better part of an hour.

Before that chat list got turned into a place for people to indulge their addiction to religious forwards, it used to be full of lively, friendly, real email notes back and forth, where anyone could start up and chip into any conversation.

Another moronic one I got from one of these people who habitually sends forwards and can't be bothered sending me real notes. It was this lame-o rant about how "This is a CHRIST-mas tree!" It went on about how it wasn't a Hanukkah tree or an islam tree or - I forget what else it said. The point was basically that Christianity was getting threatened by the mere presence of people who have other beliefs and customs and how we must lord it over all of them that WE ARE THE ONES and they have no right to take away our religion simply by existing! Oh yeah, and that we must also pass it on so we can keep our religion safe from further threat!

I screamed!

Of course it isn't a Hannukkah or Islam tree - those religions have their very own separate festivals and occasions, and their very own different symbols to go along with it!

Oh, goodness, that is probably why I thought she was a Christian falling for religious chain letters. Yes, she has always fallen for chain letters, but if she was a Christian at one time, she sure as heck isn't now, having become an anti-theist. Her chain letter addiction helped our friendship to die, and this anti-theism has definitely ended it.


But I'm not the only one who has lost friends because of people's chain letter addiction.


Just read this entry." It's short, but right to the point.

Prayer chain letters - no thanks! You could be praying for someone who actually doesn't exist. Furthermore, I don't, and you shouldn't need chain letters telling you/me who and what to pray for, how, and when. And no, a prayer isn't more powerful if you hit the forward button immediately after reciting a prayer written out in a chain letter..

Stories in forwards, no thanks. Many are designed to make you sad or at least make you cry. Many aren't true, some are, and others can't be verified. Some attribute events falsely to certain people. Most just get under my skin.

I especially detest the one about the angels in the alley that protected a girl from getting molested because she believed in God enough.

As I've said in the smash of that rotten chain:

What about the other girls that didn't get this protection? Don't you dare tell me they had it coming because they didn't believe in angels or God! That story is so poisonous, self-righteous and sick that it never should've been told and retold, and whoever made it up should be ashamed of themselves!

If those angels were worth their salt they would've punished the molester and protected everyone.

I can remember hearing stories like that back at a Christian camp when I was a kid. Only it wasn't an alley and a molester, it was about people on boat trips, where the unbelievers sunk and the ones who believed were saved. It might impress a little kid but not me. Are we supposed to go "Hey, look at us, ha ha ha if we'd been on that ship it wouldn't have sunk because we believed!" Puhleeze! Good and bad happens to everyone, whether they believe or not.

Someone once sent me a chain letter story about a drawbridge where this guy's son got in the way of the operations of it and the guy's dilemma was either to not extend the bridge and kill a bunch of people on a train, or extend the bridge, let the train go ahead and have his kid get killed in the run-over but the passengers would be saved.

I heard that one at this same camp - probably before it became a chain letter. I hated it then and still do.

It's not a decision I've had to make, ever hope to have to make, and as for what I'd do in that situation I don't know and don't care to ponder. Neither do I care to muse on the comparison between this guy and God's decision to sacrifice Christ which is the jist of the whole grim tale. I quite honestly don't understand that either, though I know and appreciate why it was done. But that doesn't mean I have to love the whole story. I do not love the idea of crucifixion, period, and cannot comprehend how anyone could commit such heinous acts to another living thing. It isn't even a valid comparison. The father in the train story didn't have a choice. He got hit WHAM with this terrible dilemma. Jesus knew what was going to happen to him before it happened, and he accepted this mission. Not at all the same thing.

It's bad enough sadists lived in the ancient world. We're supposed to be in the modern, enlightened world, people are supposed to be smarter and civilized, but sadists still exist in the world. I can't get my head around that one either.

That was a tangent. Back to - oh yeah, chain letters.

Then there are the happier religious tales of some miracle or other. These are not quite so bad if they're true, and as long as the original authors specifically grant permission to pass them along. However, once they become chain letters, they get mired down into the rest of the lot, and that is no way to treat something real. And, frankly, it is no fun getting the same story or cute/amazing viral video or great animation and powerpoint thing 4 times within 8 days because it's trending and everyone from friends to email list members and web forum members are totally wowed by it.

virals are paranoid patronizing deceptive distorted exploitive utterly bogus twisted manipulative insulting, blasphemous, perverted, scummy beyond the pale, crap and any combination of these that no Christian has any excuse to fall for.

It is no fun getting "picked" AKA spammed by friends/family/contacts or some dude named Zorin with silly stories about "Lunch with god" or some drunken father who got violent and his kid saw Jesus so wasn't even traumatized, or some Sick Woman dreamer probably named Edith Burns with a Confession Of Rights to believe in Easter and wonders if Jesus had email if he sent this chain letter that was supposed to give the devil a headache, and telling us who Jesus is and that he is our Friend In Need, and that God Supposedly Said we should Marry Them To Save Them because Life Is A Theater and how we should help give everybody a happy whispers day by being among the very special and unique 7% of people to pass along that long-handled spoon story, the Phoney ST. Theresa Prayer, the fake ST. Jude's good luck and not-so-holy picture, wish-granting hoax, the Mashiach chain, The Shaya Story, the one about The Room that got ripped off its real author when someone else took the credit, and that dreadful downer known as Jimmy's Letter From Heaven!

So basically if it's viral, just don't send it, period.Also, just because a forward shouts "This is a true story!" does not mean it is! You've seen other spam that shouts "This is not spam!" right? Well, the same applies to chain letters. Chances are if it shouts out "This is not a chain letter!" or "This is a true story!" it is a chain letter and very likely it is an untrue or at least partially untrue story. So, before passing them on, it's always a good idea to validate them first. A quick trip to one of sites and keying in a few words that appear in the story somewhere, should bring up some results.

But the trouble is, most forwarders couldn't be bothered - it's just easier to hit that forward button! And once again, if I get it, I have to do the work for them and let them know if the story was bunk. Argh! I usually don't reply to these if they are true, because really, what is there to say?

I seem to be one of very few Christians who immediately queston and suspect all forwards, and who honestly and so openly dislike chain letters especially any that lie about anyone and anything misquote people and quote them out of context, use guilt-tripping and utterly false stories, use fake flattery and promises, ridiculous curses and threats, and exploits people's religious beliefs just to get them passing it on, true or not. I see them for what they really are, misguided at best, utter bunk at worst. And these do cause anti-Christian backlash, instead of bringing more people to Christ. Unfortunately Christians and the politically right-wingers have done a lot to get their bad reputation on the net for passing on chain letters. That's not an asset, believe me.

I used to have a good friend - until she got on the net. She, like so many others, got addicted to chain letters and she abandoned me in favor of sending these forwards to other people - and I know this because someone else I know is still on her recipiant list.

I am too upset with her for abandoning me to her chain letter addiction to write to her any more. She once said she wasn't going to send "me" any more forwards - and it's like, sheesh, that's not the point! Usually when people get that mentality "Avoid sending forwards to *this person*" it almost always really means "forget about this person and just go on spamming everyone else in your contacts. Abandon anyone else who dares to set the record straight on a bogus chain or simply protests at getting any from you. Blacklist them from your contacts and just forget about them!"

Another person sent me a chain letter joke. She's a hot-head already, and got really hissy when I sent back a reply pointing her to a Snopes page that archived and debunked the chain. She got mad, pitched a fit at me and hasn't sent me a personal/private email since. She can go fly a kite if that's her attitude!

Another person who has been sending forwards to everybody in her contact list but me, accidently sent me one. Argh! Then she sent me another letter, apologizing for sending the chain to my address by mistake. Double argh! I didn't write back, too upset to do so! What should I say? "That's okay." It's not okay! The truth about how this made me feel? No, there really isn't a gentler way of putting it and it would for sure hurt her feelings and then I'd be the villain yet again. Do nothing? Oh sure, and keep it all in, not healthy. It's got to come out somewhere.

What everyone who has ever done this to me owes an apology for is their unfeeling act of abandoning me as a friend in favor of spamming their other contacts with chain letters in any and all forms, whether it's email, wall post, im note, or even text messages, if I actually used that feature on my cell phone. You may not even realize that's what you've done, but it is, and it hurts! Do forwards mean that much more to you than my friendship!?

I'd just like people to stop ditching me in favor of sending chain letters to everyone else instead. I'd also like people to use a little common sense, and listen to cautions against sending chain letters, and take those cautions to heart.

Do you honestly think I'm convinced that you care all that much about me when all I ever get from you is forwards, everything from viral jokes to alarmist/political warnings/petitions to "factoids and quotes" that are very likely in reality misquotes and not facts, pics of sicky cute but obviously photoshopped animals doing crazy cutesy things, videos that are being circulated all over the place that didn't actually come from you, but from a friend of a friend of a friend, to gushy friendship chain letters that you didn't write, and that I have seen posted on countless other places on the net? Gads, why not just send a TV commercial, it comes out to about the same thing! Seriously, people, think, please, think!

Internet newbies still have a lot to learn, so they are going to get sucked into passing on chain letters once in a while. But there comes a time when you should know better.

You need to ask yourselves some hard questions.

Why send chain letters?

Do you really believe you are doing your friends/contacts/fellow forum members a big favor?

Do you actually think you're the only one who's ever received it? Do you think it's so special and so scarce that you must pass it on to your friends to insure they are blessed to get something that's a once in a life time thing? Do you not realize this is a huge con?

Do you think your friend wrote it and believes everything in it?

Do you really think sending them to all your friends shows them how much you so incredibly care?

Do you think a canned message is more valuable to your friends than anything you say?

Are you really interested in keeping up friendships or are you just interested in getting ego-strokes from people who you think will like the chain letter as much as you did and reply back with what a great great letter they think you sent and what a wonderful person you are for passing it along?

Do you really think your friends will write you back more if you send chain letters instead of writing your own emails or at least sending them something that didn't come in a fwd?

Do you really believe every chain letter that comes along, including those that claim you are the one true most special friend of the person who passed it along to you, even though they actually have a Cc: list a mile long and the one who sent it to them has a Cc: list 10 miles long? How personal is that?

Do you think your friends need reminders via chain letter of what a friend is, what a smile is, what a hug, kiss, or love is, and do you really believe you are spreading the love by passing the chain along to your contacts and fellow forum members?

Do you really believe you are showing a great deal of consideration to people who just want real communication and friendship without getting chain letters, by neglecting to email or communicate with them because you're too busy spamming your other contacts with the latest forward to grab you by your emotions?


Think about it. If all you ever get from someone is chain letters, does that make you feel cared about? How much effort does it take to hit the blasted forward button anyway!?

How would you feel if you found out your "friends" were either too lazy or just couldn't be bothered to send you even a short "Hi, how's it going, here's what I've been up to lately" type note, but they sent forwards and more forwards to other people instead? Is that any way to be a friend?

And this is a big part of why "friendship" chain letters are so galling. They're a sham and they don't actually make friendships stronger.

I am quite a chatty person who loves getting notes, replying back, I'd love it muchly if people would post more notes on my Facebook walls, send me email, web sites they like and/or they think I might like, (not from fwd emails though) even recipes and media from their own collection (not from forwards they got from friends of friends of contacts.) I want the real thing, not chain letters trying to play substitute for communication and friendship, and I'm fed up to the back teeth with being ignored because people would rather just forward stuff even though they gotta know a lot of it's fake!

For the love of your friends, your own reputation, and of all things good, please stop passing on and posting chain letters!

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