I’m going to try really, really hard not to turn this into a rant, but it may be impossible.
People I love, and some people I just like, are always forwarding me stuff. You know, those e-mails that have sweet poetry about great friends or funny jokes about anything. But also political and religious diatribes that rarely have anything to do with my own beliefs, but since I keep those beliefs to myself, I try to just delete them.
But often, people forward things that are so blatantly wrong (both inaccurate and appalling), that it drives me crazy. Here is a sampling:
1. Mars was its closest to the Earth two years ago, so looking at it this August won’t be as cool as you think.
2. Deadly spiders are not hiding under toilet seats.
3. Andy Rooney never said any of that stuff.
4. The ACLU is not screaming about soldiers praying
5. Oh, and the always eye-rolling one—AOL and Disney are not tracking e-mails and will not send you a check for thousands of dollars to clutter up people’s inboxes.
For those of you wondering how you’re supposed to know what’s true and what’s not, I suggest you bookmark Snopes and refer to that whenever you have a question about something someone sent you. Wondering if you can really dial #677 to get the police on your cell phone? Only in Canada. If robbers are ether-ing women in parking lots with fake perfume samples (nope)? If you really should remove that file from your hard drive (no!)? Go to Snopes, do a quick search, and all your questions will be answered.
Sure, a few things are real. Many are also a mixture of real and false (like the CA-125 ovarian cancer e-mail) and it’s important to be able to separate the two. So if someone sends you something like this, check it out before passing it on. You can educate yourself and then educate other people. Soon you’ll be a real know-it-all.
Like me! :)