Here is the hazard of owning an e-mail address: increased exposure to stupidity. Mass e-mails are terrible, but those who respond to mass e-mails with “reply all” are the worst. Without exception, when one person uses “reply all”, he is inviting others to respond in kind to complain, question and otherwise perpetuate the mutant e-mail chain over several hours until it has grown to 20+ new e-mails; each message more loathsome than the last.
This has to stop.
Being included in a bad “reply all” e-mail chain is like trying to swim the backstroke through a sea of drowning cats. Don’t get sad. These cats won’t die; they refuse to die. They just keep dragging you back into a mess of claws and FWD:Re:RE:re: messages as you struggle to swim beyond them. This clumsy, mixed metaphor is my way of saying that “reply all” buttons are dangerous and should be erased from every e-mail program on earth and in space.
When just one person uses the “reply all” button to share information that doesn’t specifically apply to each recipient, we all lose; e-mail inboxes become bloated, people get angry and confused, and it probably even makes orphans cry. Like those really sad orphans from the 1930s? The ones in black and white pictures who didn’t have shoes? Yeah, I bet “reply all” probably even hurts them. I’m not clear on the specifics of how, but I think it has something to do with a flux capacitor. Why would anyone want to make orphans from the past cry? Why are you ruining time travel for the rest of us? What kind of monster are you?
Because I want to be part of the solution, I’ve created the simple instructions below to help eradicate “reply all” abuse.
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