Q. Help! I can’t even go into my email inbox anymore, not because of evil hackers, but because of my supposed friends. I must be on my friends’ sucker lists because I get dozens of junk emails a day with lame jokes, stupid “cute kitty” pictures and chain letters that promise if I forward the email to 10 friends within 10 seconds I will have good fortune for the rest of my life.
I’m really tempted to just dump these emails in my Spam box instead of trash, but I’m afraid that someday I might miss an important email from someone and then I’ll be caught.
What should I do?
A. The world seems to be composed of two sorts of people: those who love joke/cute/chain emails and those who don’t. One person’s junk is another person’s treasure, that’s why people have yard sales! I have heard quite a few complaints lately from those who don’t like these sorts of emails and, like you, want to know how to stop them.
I suggest these methods:
1. Write them an email telling them to take you off of their distribution lists. Most people send these emails to a group of addresses that they have compiled. The next time you receive a mass mailing from your friend, send a reply email saying something like this: “I know you enjoy sending out these emails to me, but because of my limited time (optional: and interest), I would appreciate your removing my email address from your general distribution list.”
2. If that doesn’t work, you could fight fire with fire and forward all of your friends’ spam emails to other friends who send spam emails. Be sure to include the original sender in your forward list. This could backfire though because then the senders might think that you actually like these emails and send you even more emails, including the ones you just sent to them.
3. Send them this link: AN OPEN LETTER TO A FRIEND WHO PROLIFICALLY SENDS ME NO FEWER THAN FOUR STUMBLEUPON LINKS A DAY.
4. If none of these suggestions work, feel free to put any future emails from your spamming friends in your Spam folder. If they wonder why you haven’t read their emails, explain that you have “unsubscribed.”
Warning: Don’t be too harsh when you ask your friends to stop sending you junk emails. You might just find that you miss the cute kitty videos:
Do you get spam emails from friends? Do they drive you nuts or do you look forward to the next cute kitty picture? If you send out these types of emails, has a friend ever asked you to stop sending them? Let us know in the Comments section below!
* Image by Noah Sussman
** Image by Sybren Stüvel
*** Image by Mary