Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Free iPods For Everyone!

Today I got a forward. It was an essay written by David Letterman. It showed a "rarely seen side of Letterman." He talked about how 69% of Americans report that they are unhappy about the state of our nation. And then he went on to show all the great things that America is. He cautioned that we should all be more grateful for what we have, stop bagging on the president, be grateful for our volunteer army, give thanks for modern medicine, clean drinking water, and free education. It was very inspiring. One problem though: The essay was not written by David Letterman. And it was not written by Jay Leno, who was quoted to have written it the last time I got this forward about a year ago. It was written by Craig R. Smith. (And it is quite inspiring. You can read the real article here.)


I know it's been said before on many a blog. And I know it's been screamed aloud at many a computer desk before too. But I'm going to say it again now, for myself, to anyone and everyone who has perpetrated this crime:

DON'T FORWARD THINGS CLAIMING TO BE FACT UNLESS YOU HAVE CHECKED TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE TRUE!

Don't assume that every forward you get is fact.
Most of the missing children forwards you get? Hoaxes.
Many of the "new" computer virus warnings people send you? Made up.
The vast majority of "actual" recipes from famous restaurants people excitedly forward you? Surprise. Not the actual recipes.
And you know the free giveaways and cash you can get from big name companies just for forwarding another email? Someone is sitting back laughing while you forward their made-up email.
Sadly, lots of the other amazing forwards people send you are misrepresented, outdated, changed, edited, or downright false. I know everyone wants to be helpful when they forward things like that. But it only makes things worse when people become scared about the world they live in for no good reason, or spend effort trying to follow the warnings in the email. So please, before you forward anything-- even something possibly inspiring--that proports to true...

CHECK THE FACTS AT WWW.SNOPES.COM.

It only takes a few seconds to check the facts on something, before you forward it, to make sure that it is true. And if it is true, more power to you! You can make REAL Nieman Marcus cookies, keep your computer safe from the greeting-card virus, ward off telemarking scams, find that missing little girl, prevent all new money being printed without the words "In God We Trust," and get $500 from Bill Gates.

In fact, when you finally get the evidence that proves that one true, please, send that forward to me!

8 comments:

Holly said...

That is exactly why I do not forward stuff, unless its a funny joke.

Ben said...

Great blog. But how do I get my free ipod? It doesn't say anywhere in your article!

CaraDee said...

Amen. Brandon says whenever there's an email forward about a virus, they inevitably get it from their coworkes. You know, to be helpful.

MiaKatia said...

I got one that was actually true today about a Canadian candy recall... want it? ;)

Omgirl said...

I got that one about a week ago, Mia. And was surprised that it was real, although I shouldn't be considering that it was candy made in China. At least it's only in Canada (for now).

MiaKatia said...

I wondered if anybody read all the way to the part where it said it just affected the Canadian product. But I guess some people might go shopping in Canada for their Halloween candy.

Christie said...

Great post. I get so sick of all the silly forwards I get - especially the ones about the election (have I already posted that somewhere?) I typically hit delete, unless of course something is just too funny to pass up.

Chelsea said...

We actually had something in our Relief Society e-newsletter this week that was a fakey fake forward. Luckily someone got the word out to the secretary just a few minutes after she sent it and she sent another email saying to ignore the first one. I've found that anything sensational is usually not for real!