Stop Forwarding Emails

from the no-one-wants-them dept

I’ve never quite understood what motivates friends who are constant “email forwarders”. I’m sure you know someone who does this – they seem to spend all day forwarding “funny” or “touching” emails to a long list of people who don’t want it. Occasionally there are nice or funny emails that are worth passing on, but the people who send the constant barrage are simply annoying everyone they know. I’ve managed to get off of most of those lists, but some still seem to keep me on. I’m clearly not the only one who gets annoyed with that stuff, as a new study shows that people find “friendly spam” from those they know to be the most annoying spam they get. At least with regular spam you know to delete it right away or filter it out. When it comes from a friend, you’re much more inclined to open it. So, as the study says, if you’re constantly forwarding crap like this to people you think want it, you’re wrong. You’re probably annoying everyone you know. Don’t be that person.

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Comments on “Stop Forwarding Emails”

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I'll stay anonymous says:

I'm one up on ya

I actually had to tell my mother I no longer wished to receive email, about anything, from her.
My mother was one of those people who forwarded EVERYTHING. Forward this email to everyone you know emails, virus warnings, every joke on the internet, greeting cards, etc. There was no limit and even though she put everyone she knew on the CC line and people would respond back (to the entire list) that the virus warnings were a hoax or that nobody was going to pay them for forwarding emails, she would still keep sending them never taking the hint that most of the people who did respond usually did so in a terse or annoyned tone.
At first, I told her that I was having some problems with my email account and asked if she could take me off of her list because I might be changing email addresses. That worked for about 6 months and then she put me back on the list. Then I figured out how to, using an elaborate set-up, to bounce emails coming from her with “User not found” errors. That never seemed to phase her because she still kept sending stuff to me even though it was being bounced back to her. I guess at some point I rebuilt that server and never got around to setting up my Bounce-Mom’s-Emails configuration so I kept getting emails.
I tried the passive aggressive thing, “Wow, I guess your boss must give you a lot of free time.” Nope. Hint not taken. As time went on (we were now on year 3 or 4 of this) I dropped the passive part and responded in more aggressive fashion, “Mom, please take me off this list. I get so much work related email I never have time for this.” Nope. Every once in a blue moon she would honor the request for a few weeks or even a few months but sooner or later I just had to be informed about the latest virus that her “inside contacts” had made her privy to without informing the nation’s top virus researchers.
Finally, I just emailed her that I never, ever, under any circumstances wanted to receive another email from her again. Ever! If it wasn’t important enough for her to pick up the phone and call, it wasn’t important enough to bug me with. She, obviously, was hurt and sent me a long email informing me that it was because she cared is why she emailed me but I told her that I understood but I was sticking to my guns that I didn’t want her to ever email me again.
It’s been a year now. No emails.

thecaptain says:

Re: I'm one up on ya

Quite a few people in my family (and some alleged programmers from my office) do this as well.
BUT, I stopped it….all I had to do was keep replying with the text from THIS link:
The smart ones got it, felt slightly dumb and smartened up, the others are filtered to my delete folder.

I'll stay unknown, thanks says:

Re: I'm one up on ya

I think that was so mean of you. Your mother was probably bored and ws thinking of you. You could have at least said no forwarded e-mails instead of “no e-mails, ever!” Something like “Mom, I would appreciate it if you would please stop forwarding me things. My inbox is close to full, and my work related things are more important.” Anything would have been better than what you have done. You are selfish and bitter toward your own mother!

KimF says:

Re: I completely relate to the "one-up" situation.

Wow.. took some harsh bracing to have to deal that way with your own mother, but I know how it gets.

On a less significant (but still stressful) level, I have a MySpace profile, and I have had to delete some people on the friend list because they simply didn’t understand (or care) that posting copious bulletins – the equivalent, in my opinion, to “friend spam” – forced those more occasional (therefore preferred) postings off the visible window. Only 5 show at a time, so I couldn’t even expect mine to be seen because not 20 minutes later the rapid-fire bulletiners struck again.

I’ve also just told one of my email contacts that I don’t forward stuff, so please to take me off her group list.

The barragers are offended if we don’t participate. Usually this is the type who is extremely emotional, needy and bored. When boundaries are enforced, it’s not pleasant to do so but ultimately necessary – both for the sender’s information and the sendee’s peace of mind.

I don’t think you were rude at all: if anything, you tried your utmost to treat your mom gently, until it became obvious she wasn’t regarding your feelings.

Prefer to be anonymous says:

Re: I'm one up on ya

Read your email and realized that, yes I am a Mom that has tried to connect with my daughter and granddaughter via email.

The reason; a long story but has to do with trying to communicate and bridge gaps that have formed for years. I will try not to make this too long but here it goes: A lot of the family problems came from my mother who died a few years ago. Unfortunately, my daughter and I had been estranged for many years. This also had to do with the man she married; someone very parinoid, finds faults with others and thinks he is the victim! He, of course, doesn’t like emails, pictures, etc., other than he will respond if you write him a letter. So, you take family issues, husband issues, etc., and this is what “compels me” to try and connect with my daughter via forwarding thought-provoking emails, pictures, etc. My daughter is “very closed & hard to draw out” so it is not always easy to have phone conversations, though I really do try. We live in different states far away and that adds to the problems. My granddaughter loves my emails and my calling but her father often ruins our connection, even though he says he wants us to be close (much double talk!!!!!) She is so stressed out from the intense schedule that she is on (ice-skating, homework, you name it), I am really worried about her! My emails to her have pretty much stopped because she doesn’t even have time to read them! I feel that emails can sometimes take the place of little notes that otherwise would be to be sent via US postal service, even if it is a forward email with your own note!

I just thought you might hear my story and think about your communication with your mom. Maybe, she feels that this is another way of her saying “I love you”. That is the way I feel. Thanks for hearing me out.

JD says:

No Subject Given

I wouldn’t be too hard on the guy. True, it was a little coarse, but if you deal with huge mailboxes and people who don’t have a clue you get frustrated. Especially after 3-4 years.

It would have been prudent though just to block her emails or filter them to /dev/null (or some windows equivalent) or something like that to not risk ruining whatever relationship he had with his mother (which may have been shaky to begin with).

No Name says:

Again, I think people are confusing the issue. There is a huge difference between an email message that someone takes the time to compose on their own versus a photo, fake virus warning, joke, etc that they receive and then forward on. I never mind if someone takes the time to write me a message – that absolutely shows that they were thinking about me. But when they forward me an email, that doesn’t prove that they were thinking about me. That proves that they know my email address.

Let me make a comparison. My friend goes on vacation. They are not obligated to bring me back a gift of any kind. But let’s say that they do. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but if it really seems to be an item that they shopped for and has meaning, then I am grateful. But you know how all hotels have those racks with glossy, colorful, tri-fold brochures that advertise all the local attractions: hiking trails, museums, amusement parks, etc? Sending along these forwards is like my friend stood in front of that rack and picked out one of each those (all 60) and brought them home to me. Within that pile of 60 brochures, there is likely to be at least one attraction that, sure, looks pretty interesting. But how does this prove that my friend was thinking of me? Am I supposed to keep these brochures? Who wouldn’t chuck them all in the trash as soon as your friend left your house? After four years and 50 weekend trips (many to the same location) with these kinds of “gifts,” are you really going to tell me I’m rude for asking my friend to not bring these crappy brochures home anymore? I don’t think that request is unreasonable or rude.

Abigail (user link) says:


What can I do, if a friend alway forward email of sms to me?
I really sick of it!!!

” ….love…friendship..bless…friends….IF you can get more 7 (this sms), you are really a lovable person.”

“…………………………………………if you don’t forward it to 10 ppl, your mother will die after 7 days.”
Thanks for your prophesy! I know we shall die after 100000years by forward/not forward email

“Subject: Workers Problem
The tale goes like that;
Get Vietnamese workers, dogs missing.
Get Bangladeshi workers, Malay girls missing.
Get Indonesian workers, money missing.
Get Indian workers, jewellery missing.
Get Chinese workers, husbands missing. “
This is the email I receive today, from a friend.
Oh no , please I beg you.

fsd says:

Forwarding Mom Solution

I know this article is older, but I want to suggest a solution for the delicate ‘forwarding mom’ situation.

Mine sends everything from ‘war on christmas’ to ‘LOLdogs’, sometimes up to 5 a day…

Earlier today I asked her to start sending non-urgent, silly emails to a junk address I check once a week. I explained that my email was for work, that no one else sends these types of emails to me and that honestly, I’d rather read about her day than read a dumb Pelosi joke.

So, I make her feel needed and (hopefully) will have a much cleaner inbox.

Mama or no mama says:


Excuse me, this person is NOT being mean. The person tried many times to tell mother stop sending the emails. Mother chose to keep on sending them. You do not know if that is a job related email address and this person got reprimanded by the boss. You don’t know if this person wants to keep his addy private.
Please being mommy does not give her a pass to keep violating his wishes. Some of y’all probably don’t even see or talk to your mothers!

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