We use email everyday. Some people abuse email everyday.
One of the things that hits my trash faster than junk mail is cheesy, mass-emailed forwards. Now some of you are going to think that I'm cynical or just a negative person. You wonder why I wouldn't want to spend my day reading "Chicken Soup For The Soul" stories and forwarding them on to 50 of my closest friends for good luck.
Well, for one thing...I don't have time. Secondly, I think that the sender could be making better use of his/her time.
Why don't I like these types of forwards? Let me explain...no...let me sum up.
• The sender leaves every email address that was ever attached to the forward up to this point, which means that I must scroll down 150 screen shots worth to get to the actual message.
• I know that this email probably changed the sender's life...unfortunately, I have yet to read one of these stories that has changed mine.
• Usually, the cheesy, mass, email forward is the sender simply scatter-shooting, hoping that the message will have some kind of effect on someone. This means that they're not really communicating with me, they don't want to engage in a conversation with me. They just want to dump this thing on me because they had to do something with the message and they didn't want to move it to the Trash folder like I just did.
As email progresses and becomes more and more ingrained in our culture (you realize that it's not going away), we need to be good stewards of this resource. Over at 43 folders, they have written an excellent article on some of the best practices in communicating through emails (link). They offer ways to create emails that are precise and easy to deal with.
And if you've read this far, then I want to thank you in advance for taking me off of your forward list.