It’s an inbox, not a dumpster!

 The title refers to the concept that junk belongs in a dumpster, not your email inbox.  Most people don’t have time for all of the junk email that circulates at work.  Some do, and if you are one of these lucky ones, by all means, watch the 12 MB PowerPoint slide shows with inspirational phrases and captions and circles and arrows explaining what each slide represents.  For the rest of us, it’s a bit much to be locked into some slow moving piece of uselessness.

Junk mail can come in any form, depending on your circle of online friends:  religion, porn, songs, videos, or any email that has a huge file attached.  Studies have determined that over 95% of all email falls into the junk email category.  This includes not only spam, but also jokes, inspirational messages, and anything else you might be forwarding to your friends.  If your friends enjoy it, that’s between you and them.  God bless you both.  However, if you forward some huge thing to somebody who never sends huge things out themselves, never responds to your huge attachment with a “that was cute” or “thanks”, then they are probably just deleting them and being annoyed. 

While I’m on it, if an email says something special will happen if you forward this message to 10 people, it won’t.  Really, it just won’t.  Email doesn’t have that capability.  There is also no magical email tracking program that allows Bill Gates to send you money if you’re the five thousandth forwarder of the message.  Really, those testimonials at the end are what we in the tech business call…a…lie.  Seriously, do you think Microsoft Bill, or any other company for that matter, is going to give away money at random?  If a company gives something away it’s to generate future business, either directly or indirectly.  There’s no other reason. 

Email has no authority.  That means you don’t have to forward it just because it tells you to.  In fact, if it tells you to, that’s normally a good indication that you shouldn’t.  Here’s a quick test.  If you are thinking about forwarding an email message to your closest friends, ask yourself, “Would ANCTech be happy to receive this?”  If the answer is ‘no’, go ahead, they might like it.  But, if the answer is “Oh, hell no!” you might want to rethink hitting the send button.

Anyway, why does all of this matter?  To IT departments that’s a lot of added overhead to email systems, spam filters, routers, switches, bandwidth and overall reaction time.  To you and everyone else, it makes everything just a shade slower.  Think of it as traffic on the information highway and let’s all try to make rush hour a little less crowded.

Happy computing.

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2 Responses to “It’s an inbox, not a dumpster!”

  1. Danny Says:

    Exactly! Thank you…rush hour is bad enough without adding traffic and throwing debris out in the highway. Even with spam filters and everything else working for me, I get about 25 emails first thing in the morning…3 or 4 of those are legitimate emails. Out of my legitimate emails at least 1 or 2 will be in the category you described.

  2. James, you forgot to include the dreaded urban legend e-mails that say Osama bin Laden is part of the global Jewish conspiracy to corner the market on pork bellies. Or that GWB wanted to ban dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO).

    Before forwarding a story about some bizarre event that someone swears happened to their cousin’s stepmom’s best friend’s sister’s massage therapist, check snopes.com to see if it’s crap. It usually is.

    BTW, the snopes item on DHMO includes the handout I created for my classes to emphasize critical reading. Seems one of my students several years ago didn’t believe the idea was originally done by a 9th grader in Idaho as a science fair project.

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