How to Fight Useless Emails from your Parents

In Culture, Technology on December 22, 2011 at 12:39 am

Have you ever received those really awful emails from your parents? You know the emails I’m talking about. Usually it’s a fwd of a fwd that will somehow give you luck, money or both if you fwd it to someone else. Or, it’s a clever quote that is either waaaay too long for the time you have or just cheesy as all HELL.

These emails are the digital equivalent of the those fluffy, white cards that you find in Walgreens with the odd looking Georgia Okeefe design on the front and/or a poem by a long dead and boring poet. Or, it’s from a poet that you actually like but feature some of their worst work. These emails are the digital equivalent of telling you grandmother how stressed out you are over your inabilty to understand the math portion of the GRE and she responds every time with, “you should go to church.”

In the world of endless email inboxes that feature yet another thing you have to do or someone’s attempt at covering their ass by saying, “hey didn’t you get my email,” these contributions from your parents are like the Anarchists that hit Whole Foods on during the big Oakland strike last month: I know you’re trying to help but stop, man. Stop.

Mat Honan has a great op-ed on the email side of our parents’ amusing transition into the 21st century with tips on how to handle it that include:

* Setting clear guidelines.
* Teaching them email etiquette.
* And, I would add labeling your parents as SPAM but that is me.

Honan gives more detailed advice. It’s a nice perspective to have and reminds me of not only my own ignorance to some of the computer programs I’m getting use to but also my desire to learn more, to stay curious and excited about new tech so I won’t inundate my children one day with useless attempts at trying to be trendy.


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