Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Why am I surprised by this?

So, I've been studying in Julian's computer lab this morning, and that is where I'm posting from right now. It was all quiet and normal until these two girls came in to check their email and look at other random things on the internet.

The reason this stands out is that one of them starts reading her email, and, since her computer was in plain view, I could see what the subject was. Someone, later revealed to be the girl she came in with, sent her a forward about getting gift certificates from Applebee's. She asks her, "Did you get your gift certificate?" The girl responds, "No, that's not real, I didn't know until after I sent it." "It's not?"

Oy. They didn't know this was a hoax? Where has everyone been the last 10 years? We've had junk like this spreading across the net for the longest time, and yet nobody ever seems to figure it out. The girl actually had to go to Applebee's website to confirm that this was truly a hoax.

How many offers for gift certificates, money, or products have we seen? These things list Microsoft, AOL, Applebee's, Outback, Gap, Disney, Abercrombie . . . and yet none of them are legitimate. Ever. Why do people continue to be snookered like that?

In fact, why do people start that junk in the first place? It's ridiculous! Are they just trolling for email addresses to use in spam? Or are they just trying to cause trouble? Do they know the strain it puts on the net infrastructure? (Well, maybe not as much as real spam does, but that's beside the point)

People like this annoy me. Their ignorance just astounds me. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I've known far too many people whose sole activity on the internet was to fill my and all of their friends' inboxes with innumerable forwards of jokes, "free" money offers, cheesy poems and text pictures declaring how evil you are if you don't forward it, "email snowballs," endless surveys, and so on. I think most people are beginning to outgrow that phase of internet life, but it seems that some people still haven't caught on.


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