Monday, May 25, 2009

25 May -- Just a place holder

Just like everybody I know, I get occasional emails containing cartoons, amazing photos, cute animal pictures, the odd poem. Many get the "burn before reading" treatment, while others, whose contributions I always enjoy, get read and occasionally forwarded (although I try to restrain myself) to close friends and sister.

But I realized this morning that there is an entire category to which I belong, and which I really don't appreciate AT ALL: place holder.

This morning's email was yet another chain letter: "send this to five people within three hours and you will have good luck". Some of these messages -- the ones from friends and other rather frequent correspondents -- I remove without prejudice, knowing that they wanted to play and just wanted to use my address. Most of their correspondence concerns more substantive stuff.

But there are a few from whom I never, ever hear unless it is to be a pawn in the all-too-frequent chain letter traffic. I suddenly realized that they must have a special list, just to make up the three or five or twenty names needed in order for them to follow the rules of the chain letter game. A couple of times I have responded to them directly, but have never had a reply, so I'm pretty sure they don't actually read most of their email. Obviously, I am not interesting to them as a person.

I had a pretty good idea while writing this: I would email all these chain-letter-only people and remind them that email is a source of global warming (because of the energy needed to run the Internet servers). But when I googled this, all I found were invitations to email friends to get them to fight global warming.

I must admit, however, that my email life would be poorer without the occasional gem: chalk paintings, sardonic cartoons -- have you seen the video of the hamster trying to eat the pencil? I can send it to you....


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