I have been neglecting my assorted inboxes for a while now. So this morning I sat down to clean them up. That's when I realised I have mails from a lot of my old friends, colleagues, classmates. Few are personal. They don't even have a personalised subjected line any more. Most read something like this
Fwd: (Fwd)(Fwd)(Fwd)(Fwd)(Fwd)This really happened to me!
Can you call these email forwards spam? No you can't. For they are being sent to you by some soul that believes, a soul that needs something positive in life, perhaps the need to do something positive at that moment. I would like to believe that it's that thought that is making them send it to the first 10 people on their address book. Since my name begins with 'D'( psst...I just blog as Journomuse) I'm inadvertantly in the first 10-20 hapless people who get automatically remembered in such mails.
I like to believe that I am pretty choosy about the standard of those that I forward.
As a policy I do not send assorted Ganeshas, Balajis and Lakshmis to 10 people on my list within 5 minutes of receiving it. I do not believe that Apple or Microsoft is giving out free laptops, Iphones and what nots to anyone who can find 50 people on their list. These mails are often those that someone really bored while in office randomly typed out and added a lure : Send this to 20 and you shall have the latest Apple Ipad, Send this to 15 and we shall give you the latest Iphone. Perhaps if they had written, if you send it to 10 or less, we'd send you another mail saying 'Go to Hell' that might have been a sufficient deterrant. But the mentality remains What's the Harm in trying. So you waste your time and some poor soul's inbox space clicking on their email ids.
Flora might have fallen and broken her hip because she chose to leave one such email open and scoff about it with Clara by the coffee machine. Realising her 'grave misdeed', she might have even got herself back into divine favour by not just sending it to 10, but 20 people to do amends, but like Shania Twain crooned "That don't impress me much". Neither does it scare me into compliance. It just makes me marvel at those little jobless gnats who wrote these long mails out on behalf of the assortment of Hindu Gods ( and there are just so many of them to invoke!) promising their benevolence and their wrath in the matter of 500 odd words.
From beginning my account as a gullible '$1 donor' to little Amy's cancer cure where Hotmail promised to pay $1 for every email id on a chain mail to now, heartlessly clicking on the tick boxes to batch delete - I have become a ruthless email incinerator. It took me about 25 spam mails in my Hotmail inbox promising me 'Quick ways to Increase My D$%^ size' and 'The Magic Potion to keep Happiness in my Bedroom' to realise how I had aided in littering my own inbox by pledging to help my little cyber Amy in curing her cancer.
At some level perhaps we are all suckers for some kind of reassurance that if we do something good, there will be immediate divine repayment in cash or kind of our choice. If not, there is an oil slick being spread outside your doorstep to punish you for your wickedness. Why do we fall for this ruse? I could perhaps attribute everything that has ever gone wrong in my life, from the haldi stain on my new white top to the missing five pound note on the wrath of the chain emails that I studiously ignored.
To every such mail that promises me a divine bounty at the end of the completion of the task, I just want to ask, WHY? WHY DO YOU FORWARD SUCH MAILS? ARE YOU SCARED OF BEING A BAD PERSON BY PRESSING DELETE ON A MAIL THAT HAS A 'GOD'S PHOTO' ON IT OR ARE YOU SO JOBLESS THAT EVEN MINDLESS FORWARDING MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE A PILE OF WORK TO GET THROUGH?
Frankly I enjoy reading the African Spam mails, that tell you the painstakingly sad story about a clueless 21 year old with millions that her father left behind but with some bank glitch that requires her to use your bank account to transfer all her dead man's stash. I give marks for innovation to that...If someone is gullible and greedy enough to fall for that ruse, he/she deserves it for their greed couched in empathy, don't they?