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Stop the “Forwards” – Time Wasters

We do not want to cause a panic but there is an epidemic sweeping the Internet. If you have an Email account you have been exposed. You may even be a “Carrier” of this disease. This disease seems harmless enough at first glance. In fact it even has a very innocent sounding name, “Forward”.
Some “Forwards” are indeed quite innocent and harmless. These types of “Forwards” have a lifespan of 1 “generation” and on average only a total of 3 people are aware of it. Those 3 people would be the Originator, who actually wrote it, the Recipient, the person it was written to, and an Heir. The Heir usually receives a copy of it because it contains something that refers specifically to them or has been requested.
But over 97.3% of “Forwards” are not so innocent and harmless. True, they will not destroy your computer but they do cause all sorts of problems. The first bit of mischief they create is that they “eat” time….lots of time. They “eat” time by having pictures that take time to load. They “eat” time by having long bodies of text that you have to scroll down through in order to read. They “eat” time by demanding that you “Forward” them to every single person in your contact list. They “eat” time by you verbally telling other people that are not on your contact list about it.
Now, you might not think that all those little increments of time matter. That is part of the deviousness of the “Forward” epidemic. But it does add up. It is not unusual to have at least one person in your contact list that is “addicted” to “Forwards”. You know who they are. Over the course of a week you will receive an average of 10 Emails from them. All 10 of the Emails will be “Forwards”.  Even if you spend only 2 minutes reading each of those “Forwards” that particular contact has taken 20 minutes of your time but you have had no real interaction with that contact.
Remember though that you are not the only person that they have sent the “Forwards” to. The average person will send “Forwards” to 15 people {1 x 15 = 15}. Now, if each of the Recipients passes the “Forward” on to 15 people {15 x 15 = 225} who pass it on to 15 people {225 x 15 = 3,375} who passes it on to 15 people {3,375 x 15 = 50,625} then within 4 “generations” 50,625 people will have received and read this particular “Forward”. Again, if each person (50,625) were to spend only 2 minutes reading the “Forward” that would mean 101,250 minutes or 1,687.5 hours were wasted by 1 single, solitary “Forward”.
Of course, now you have to multiply that by the average number of “Forwards” a person sends. If a person send the average number of “Forwards” a week, 10, then that 1 person is responsible for wasting 10,687.5 hours a week if their “Forwards” only last 4 “generations”.
But we are talking individual averages here. There are some people that will “Forward” to 75+ people. While there are others who send 10 “Forwards” a day. Where do you fit in the scheme of spreading this epidemic?
We have been discussing the time wasted looking based on 1 email being sent and received. The other part that needs to be looked at is the time wasted by 1 person when they receive “Forwards” from multiple people. The average number of “Forwards” received by 1 person each day is 5. So by the end of the week, that person has lost 1 hour and 10 minutes just reading “Forwards”. If you are retired you probably receive much more than that. We know of several people that in a 7 day time period receive an average of 140 “Forwards”. That means each of them looses almost 5 hours every week to “Forwards”.
So the next time you automatically go to hit “Forward” for an Email, stop, think and then refrain from doing so. ~ Editor

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  2. By stacy | Reply

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