Chain Letters (Or: *Facepalm*)

Okay, I recently ranted hard-core on Facebook about this, and then I was like, “It’s a post day. This’d be a good post.”

Here’s what I posted to the vast land of Facebook:

PSA to everyone ever, forever and always: Chain-letter posts are an entirely ridiculous thing. The concept of guilting/scaring someone into re-posting something so that you can get the satisfaction of watching something you created go viral is selfish, unkind, and dishonest (from both a creative and moral standpoint).

Here’s the deal: the ghost of the murdered child will NOT come to kill you at 2 am, Jesus does NOT hate you for not sharing, you DON’T love Satan for not sharing, none of your family members will die, you don’t hate animals and wish them dead, and whatever else they use to convince you to share in order to stroke someone’s ego is complete and total nonsense and should not be the reason you share something.

If you genuinely enjoy sharing things of a chain variety because you think it’s fun, I mean, sure. Go for it. Personally, I don’t find it fun, but hey, people have their own opinions, and my opinions are known to be generally finnicky. So you do you.

But if the BS guilt and fear tactics are what make you share, just don’t let them. This is Facebook, for goodness’ sake. It doesn’t have the power to pluck a ghost from the aether to kill you.

Okey doke, rant over.

But seriously. This is one of those things that is just such a silly thing to be passionate about, but I am still extremely passionate about.

I think a big part of my somewhat disproportionate passion is that those chain-mail posts/emails used to legitimately scare me. I never shared them–even as an eleven- and twelve-year-old, I thought they were stupid.

But, as we all know, I’m a bit of an a) anxious and b) fearful person, and I c) have an overactive imagination.

So when there was this long, detailed, scary story, followed by the promise that if I didn’t send it to 10 of my friends, I would become a part of it–in an unpleasant, dead-kind-of-way–I was legitimately scared.

I have memories of lying awake until 1:30 am, the time when the murdered little girl would come to kill me for not sharing her story. I knew it wouldn’t happen, in the rational part of my brain, but it was scary to me. So I stayed up, nothing happened, and only then I could sleep.

I remember being worried that maybe I really did wish my mom was dead, if I didn’t care enough to share a post saying I loved her.

Maybe I was okay with Dog Fights, because I didn’t share the post condemning it?

The fact that a twelve-year-old girl, or anyone, for that matter, is made to feel those things for the sake of the ongoing exposure of something that will be forgotten as soon as the “share” button is pressed? That is unacceptable, and, to me, one of the worst things about humans.

That the selfish, constant need for validation, must be achieved. That no matter the cost, small or big, to anyone else, means nothing.

That absolutely disgusts me.

And maybe it’s silly that one of the places I predominantly see that aspect of humanity is in as small a thing as chain-mail, but the fact is, it’s there. And in so many other places. And in any one of those places, it’s just as awful.

Anyway. That’s just one of those things I can’t stand.

I don’t know. Am I being silly, do you think? Let me know your thoughts.


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