The following article really had a major effect on me. It can be found at the following URL:
Have you ever received an e-mail chain letter promising good luck if you just merely pass along the letter? Or how about the one where Bill Gates promises cold hard cash if his “e-mail experiment” reaches x-million recipients? Oh – and how about the ones that claim bad things will happen if you don’t forward the e-mail to your “10 closest friends?”Well, I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but an electronic text file sent through the Internet has NO bearing on the good or misfortune in your life, no matter how much you want to believe it. Let’s take a closer look at this phenomenon; logically.In case you are unfamiliar, there are a couple types of “chain letters.” The most common, are stories of dying children or poems about life, granting you luck, love, and wealth, if you merely send along the message to a prescribed number of people. Another classic is the facade of being involved in some “experiment” to see how many people send and receive the same letter (sometimes with financial promises). Both are equally ludicrous.
These chain letters are deliberately feeding off of human nature’s desire to believe that fate exists outside of them. Chain letters continue to be cluttering the web for the mere reason that some people actually believe them! If no one ever did, chain letters would be no more than a part of history.
Compounding the problem, there is an associated guilt that we feel when we don’t comply with something that “might” be true. For example, “but what if there really is a little girl dying in some town in Kansas,” or “what do I have to lose from sending this e- mail – maybe I really will receive a $1000.”
SO, what’s the problem with sending them just for fun? I’ll propose a couple of reasons. First, the belief in a chain letter that is untrue feeds the weakness of gullibility. If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.
Second, sending them to friends and colleagues diffuses the deceptive nature of the false information. Burdening and/or frustrating other people with this annoyance is discourteous. Most people I’ve spoken with poke fun of chain letters, yet I still receive them with the “maybe it’s true” appendix from many of the same people!
Think for yourself, and analyze if something really makes sense to you. Don’t let the guilt implied for not sending the letters to 5 or 10 people get the better of you. Chain letters defy any sort of logic; however, they magically capture a certain kind of wishful thinking that is a part of human nature. Harness the strength of expanding your mind, thinking for yourself, and not accepting things just because they are said so.
A suggestion: if you get a chain letter forwarded to you that actually has interesting content (a poem, joke, etc.), copy and paste the message into a new e-mail composition, but DELETE any reference to the necessity of forwarding the message, and any ridiculous consequences for not complying. And if you don’t do this as suggested, you will suffer from great unhappiness for the next 6 months and give birth to a goat within the next 6 years (just kidding – see! – isn’t that preposterous!).
If you can prove that you or someone you know has received good luck or bad, financial success or burden, or been cured from a terminal illness, by direct relation to an e-mail chain letter, please let me know and I’ll remove this section from the site immediately! Honest.
If even an ounce of common sense and logic is applied, chain letters will become transparent. Think twice before sending (or even reading) a forwarded chain letter.