My mother used to say, “If it is in the newspaper, it must be true”.
Wrong! Utterly wrong!
Unfortunately, my mother (like many people of her generation) was very gullible.
If it was in the newspaper or even on the radio, it had to be the gospel truth.
Those educated people wouldn’t lie to you, she would say.
Well Mother, they did and they still do.
Keep in mind that any piece of writing (like this one) can be distorted, misquoted, or attributed to somebody else.
The same goes for the Internet. And there is practically no censure out there. It is up to you to decide what is accurate, what is misleading or what is worth forwarding.
Many people seem to be predisposed to believe gossips. Any gossip. And the juicier, the better.
Upon receiving something particularly outrageous, some people cannot wait to send a copy of that piece of baloney to all their “friends”.
They copy all their acquaintances (could be as many as fifty) and click the “forward button”. That piece of no-sense then flies over the Internet to promptly land into your mailbox.
Two things, right away.
Before forwarding anything to anybody, check the author and the accuracy of whatever you receive.
It is very easy.
Copy, and then paste the first sentence of any article into the search window of your browser.
Any reference to that sentence will generate a bunch of links, and it will be up to you to pass judgment as to the veracity of that document.
If you are satisfied with the author and the accuracy of the document, you can (carefully) forward it to somebody else.
But for crying out loud, don’t send this to a bunch of people using the Cc: (carbon copy) format. Doing this will expose the names and e-mail addresses of all the recipients to the prying eyes of Internet malfeasants.
They will harvest a maximum of names and addresses and sell them to eager buyers. Don’t be surprised to then be inundated with spam or even more dangerous schemes.
If you send a document to more than 3 people, absolutely use the Bcc: (blind carbon copy) format.
This way the names and addresses of the recipients won’t be visible to the other receivers and won’t put their addresses at risk.
Third, refrain from forwarding anything to more than your 3 BFF’s (Best Friend Forever).
Most of the time what you are forwarding is inaccurate and only plays in the hands of criminals and hate mongers.
Practice good Net etiquette, always use Bcc: utilize “forward” very very sparingly and never ever include my name in a mass mailing operation!