You can tell what kind of people your friends are by what they forward you. If your friend sends you a good joke, they are funny. If they send you a virus warning or a promise of money from Bill Gates, they are gullible. And if they send you constant poems about what friendship means, tweety birds drawn with asterisks, and pleas from the cancer foundation, I give them ten years before they'll be handing out pamphlets in an airport.
I love the forwards that end with "send this to ten people or you will be killed in your sleep." Nothing says redemption like wishing death on ten of your closest friends.
The dumbest forwards I have seen are the pleas for kids with cancer. Not to be insensitive, but even if tracking email were REMOTELY possible, why would the cancer society donate three cents for every forward? Wouldn't they be the ones collecting donations?
I'd love to make a hate website about the Amish. I'd send out a weekly e-mail, and tell people to forward it to everyone that they know. And if the Amish complained, I'd know they were cheating.
If you get a computer virus off a disk, I understand that. But I have no sympathy for people who get viruses via e-mail. The fact that the "I love you" virus spread so quickly was the saddest thing I had heard in a long time. Talk about preying on people's insecurities. "Hey Joe, come in here quick! Not only did my boss send me an e-mail, but he loves me! And he apparently wants me to download this file "
Like this column? Then buy the book!