Communication By Forwarding.

We are an incredibly lazy bunch, are we not? We keep the TV remote within arm’s length of the recliner. We drive climate-controlled, fully equipped, automatic everything cars. We don’t climb stairs, we take the elevator. Myself included.

We don’t even go to the trouble of composing a simple, declarative email. Instead we send text messages by the trillions and gather in chat rooms to talk in abbreviated code: btw, lmao, ttfn. Where’s the originality when a text says the same thing, in the same way as a zillion other texts?

On rare occasions, we’ll park ourselves in front of the computer and pound out an email. Maybe. Much more often, though, we communicate by forwarding. That way, we don’t have to compose an email, we just forward one from our inbox, usually a mindless, irrelevant chain letter. The email promises great fortune if we send it to three hundred additional victims within the next ten minutes, but warns of dire consequences if this is ignored. Are you kidding? I forward it to my trash.

I don’t respond to extortion nor do I fall for get rich quick schemes. I fall for everything else (my body practically glows from the frequent x rays), but I don’t fall for million dollar jackpots. And if you shared my particular brand of catastrophically bad luck, you wouldn’t either.

To these threatening emails I am expected to reply with a newsy, entertaining email of my own making. Not one I’ve hijacked from the internet, duplicated, and sent to several dozen other close friends. Yeah? Fat chance. If the best you can do is send a vague threat to my health and happiness, I’m not obliged to amuse you with tales of my egregious social missteps and the new people I meet when they help me up from another fall. I’m drawing the line here, now.

Another irksome development is the appearance of emoticons punctuating a snarky comment, to wit: “hey, what’s up? Did you know you’re starting to smell funny? : ) Gotta run, ttfn, bff.” A smiley face does not make personal attacks charming or forgivable. Insults aside, people are rapidly losing the ability to express themselves and, if this trend continues, we’ll be reduced to pointing and grunting before long.

Where, I ask, is the fun in that?

Copyright © Publikworks 2011.

18 thoughts on “Communication By Forwarding.

  1. ugh omgomg me thinks something is wrong with me. Why? Well, let’s see . . . I do not own a TV (I know that our government is fooling around with us, I do not need to hear it every day over and over again), I do not own a car neither (I love to walk or I use my bike), I do have stairs in my home, but no elevator (which helps, I like to believe, to keep my rusty bones going). But yes, my ability to express myself is somewhat limited, because english is not my native language (I’m sure, I provide some giggles cuz of funny english and interesting grammar *snicker*). All these short forms like ttf, rofl, bbl, etc. crack me up, because it makes it kinda tricky to translate things. Hey, it is hard enough to learn another language, I do not need an extra code to encrypt. =p

    But however, I do love to communicate, because I believe that is for what the internet is made for. Simply forwarding an email would take away the fun of writing a real email. Oh well, maybe I’m just to old school.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts Publicworks! I always love to come here, you make me smile a lot.


  2. Hehe. You said it, at least where the forwards are concerned. The elevators thing I disagree with – some people can’t walk so good and need to use them, so really, anything regarding mobility shouldn’t be judged at laziness unless you actually know the people you’re calling lazy. But yes – so many friendships have been killed by forwards for me. Because once people start sending forwards, that’s all you get from them, even after a few tries on your part to make some real contact. Or, that’s my experience, anyway. And those who get all hissy when their forwards are debunked, with info links to back up my position, and I’ve already tried to be as nice as possible, without being really gushy and apologetic – sheesh. “I’ll never send you anything again.” Uh, people, that’s not what I was going for at all! Cut the dang chain letters and send personal notes, PLEASE!


  3. I am wholly guilty as charged, concerning the emoticons punctuating snarky texts. However, I only do that with my BFFs, who can be counted on less than one hand. In this case it’s mind over matter: They don’t mind, so it doesn’t matter.

    I promise, should you and I ever start snarkily texting one day, I will summarily refrain from punctuating with emoticons. You’ll just get the full brunt of the snark, with no sugarcoating or softening of blows. Deal?

    [Imagine a winking emoticon after that last. Thank you! Heh.]


    1. Look who’s here, hiya, MPS. It’s a deal, I can take it.
      Beside, there’s snarky :*) And then there’s SNARKY >:-(
      Your snarks are fun, they aren’t like drive-bys.


      1. Whew! There’s definitely a vast difference in those types of snark, when put that way. I’m relieved to be considered the former! I should imagine you’d be aces to text with- something tells me you’re one of those rare worthy partners in repartee, much like Rev.Y! Good to know you can take it, besides.

        I got the notification you’d subscribed to Cradle Rocking, and was chuffed to read it. Many thanks again for being my first, Publikworks. I don’t take such things for granted. I tend to click on my faves off my blogroll, for liking to be pleasantly surprised by new updates, rather than alerted. However, I will be subscribing to you in kind, as you’re tops and alerts would be favorable. Cheers!


  4. Hmmm . . . food for thought! BTW I recently received an email from a poor unfortunate Nigerian prince who seems to be down on his luck. It would appear he has no more money and, I guess, is looking for a new BFF to sponge off of. Well, I intend to write him a scathing letter back telling him, “You may be a prince, but I am not looking for a new BFF, tyvm. ttfn.” ;)


  5. Oh’ and how can you leave behind; LOL, LMAO, BRB, Hahaha!! and the endless pokes on FB. I deactivated my FB cuz the pokes were getting to me. And the noise!! Yes, off the grid of endless chatter to nowhere cyberspace-time sucker FB.


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