Single Status Update
Today I got a chain letter on my school e-mail. I wish I could ignore chain letters in my e-mail but I just feel the need to point out how stupid they really are.
1) "daddy it hurts"
A poem written in the perspective of an abused three-year-old. The same shit I got today. It hasn't emotionally affected me, so apparently I'm heartless and need to be abused. This is stupid for these reasons:
*I have not been abused as a child nor do I know any child who's being abused so it's not in my place to speak up against child abuse.
*People who abuse children are heartless animals who won't listen to reason.
*Child abuse is already illegal.
2) "send this to 25 people and you will be kissed by your crush. if you don't you will die"
Apparently e-mail has this magical property that if you send a certain letter to XX people you'll be kissed by someone you have a crush on, and if you neglect to send the e-mails to others, you'll die in some mysterious way.
3) "send this to XX people or the ghost of this dead girl or some shit will kill you"
Commonly found on YouTube and other sites you can post comments on. Same as 2.
185 people still fall for chain letters.
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In seriousness, though, I have noticed a lot of chain letters about urban myths and legends will usually footnote themselves with "I CHECKED THIS ON SNOPES.COM, IT'S TRUE!". Funny thing is, though, if you actually go look it up on Snopes.com, you'll find that not only is the email lying about the myth, it's also lying about the fact that Snopes.com says it's true, and Snopes has taken notice of it and made mention of it on the site.
That's why I usually Google search the contents of a chain letter if it looks slightly legit, because usually I'll find something that completely disproves it.
I love the ones where they claim that the police (or some other authority) is warning people about new, dangerous computer viruses through chain letters. If there really was such a terrible virus, wouldn't the authorities be using mass media and other means than chain letters based on people's social networks? :P
I still remember when serious TV news broadcasts would actually warn about the "terrible Michelangelo virus" nearing its activation date (March 6, which is not that far away) every year (and occasionally, they still do). And that was well beyond 1997.
And yeah, the average Joe/Jane not reasoning about the semantics of the medium or the plausibility of the statements contained within are what makes chain letters thrive in the first place. I don't know why, but just sitting in front of a computer seems to make many people functionally illiterate.
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