When my family first got e-mail when I was 12, I was in a group of about 8 girls who e-mailed back and forth. We gave personal updates by e-mail, but mainly we swapped forwards and surveys. Over the months I accumulated (digital) files upon files of e-mail forwards with touching poems, heartwarming stories, and funny pictures that I could not do without.
I enjoyed the pretty pictures people had created using only a qwerty keyboard, and I enthusiastically perpetuated the "virtual snowball fight" that came my way. My e-mail life was deeply changed with every inspirational poem or testimony I read, and I automatically hit forward like any dutiful middle school e-mailer. My friends knew they were my friends because of the cute teddy bear I forwarded them; I knew they were my friends when they followed the instructions at the end of the e-mail to send it back to me. I proclaimed my faith by forwarding "Jesus Loves You" e-mails, not daring to not send them on, since that would be "denying my faith", as the end of the e-mail threatened. I also stopped the spread of untold numbers of viruses by warning my friends of their existence. I helped raise money for cancer research, for poor people in Africa, and for orphans in the Amazon. I was one busy humanitarian, all with the click of my mouse.
. . . And the chain letters that promised rewards. I did become dubious of those relatively quickly, after my forwards did not yield 70 postcards from around the world, $100, a free trip to Disney, or a partridge in a pear tree. Some of them were hoaxes, no doubt, but they couldn't have all been fake!
Microsoft never even followed through with their promises of cash for every friend who I forwarded their e-mail to, and each person my friends forwarded my e-mail to, and each person those people forwarded their e-mails to, on down the line. Hey, I knew my math, and I could work exponentials. There was tons of cash to be had using this payment method, but not a penny did I receive, even after all the trouble I went to in helping Microsoft test their new e-mail tracking software. Believe me, when my brother starts working for them in February, I'll make sure he gets old accounts settled.
Then there were the surveys. . . I think in the course of about one year I filled out every survey known to man (er, middle-school girls) at that time. I've always loved sharing personal information in a question-and-answer format, so I reveled in all the surveys that came my way, even writing a few myself - the lengthier the better. I spent hours and hours filling surveys out and reading them, until I realized how much of a time-waster they were and how similar they were all starting to look :). It must have been about the time I answered the question "What is your favorite entree?" for the umpteenth time that I started thinking:
You know what? This is getting old. Everyone I am sending this to already knows my favorite entree (umpteenth times over) as well as my favorite side dish and dessert, and they know that I prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate or white.
It suddenly occurred to me that I didn't have to fill out another survey; the world would keep spinning, the birds would continue their tweeting, my computer would still deliver my e-mail, and my friends could even deal with not knowing the answer to the single, solitary new question on the latest survey. I've often wondered since then if Lydia, Angel, Brooke, Jessica, Christy, Sarah, or Sarah ever led a harder childhood because they never found out whether I put on my shoes and socks in a sock-shoe-sock-shoe order, or a sock-sock-shoe-shoe order. I can only assume they have forgiven me.
Okay, but in all seriousness, I did outgrow my excessive e-mail forwards phase after a while, and I can look back on it now with a laugh. I've since that time sent on very few e-mail forwards and filled out very few surveys. I've nicely reformed my e-mail habits, thanks to a few sessions of e-mail forwarders anonymous (EFA).
My name is Susan, and I am an e-mail forwardaholic.
A part of me still loves to fill out surveys, though. I admit to liking those online quizzes that calculate your IQ, personality, or the character you are most like from a book or movie. Mind you, I don't go around searching for them on a regular basis, but if someone links to one I am apt to take it.
I'm Peter in the Chronicles of Narnia, by the way.
The umpteenth identical e-mail survey sent to the same friends is pretty pointless, but I think a good, basic, short survey is a good way to get to know people. That is why I was glad when Lydia Hayden tagged me in the "Seven 7's" survey. I'd seen the survey on a few other blogs and thought it looked interesting, so without further ado, here are my seven 7's (some of these shameless stolen from Lydia).
Seven things I hope to do before I die:
Have a more disciplined lifestyle
Have a meek and quiet spirit
Practice a consistent, meaningful quiet time with the Lord each day
Be wed to a godly man and raise godly seed
Live to see my children's children serving the Lord and raising up godly seed
Mentor young women
Create a home environment that is warm and inviting, and practice hospitality as a lifestyle
Seven things I cannot do well:
Fake my emotions
Tell a lie
Be really confontational in person
Drive a stick shift ;)
Hold my tongue
Seven things that would attract me to my future husband:
Tall stature (at least 5'10" but over 6' would be better)
Love of the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength
Intelligent (especially in the fields of math, science, and theology)
A gentleman in dress and manner
Down-to-earth (can laugh at himself and acknowledge when he's wrong)
Understands and holds to sound Biblical doctrine
Has a vision for his life and his family and wants a whole lot of kids :)
Seven things I say often:
"Right. . . "
"Isn't math wonderful?"
"Does that make sense?" (tutoring situations)
"Why?" (tutoring situations, getting students to clarify their reasoning)
"That's another one of my soapboxes. . . "
"But I digress. . . "
"There's nothing I would rather do."
Seven authors, books, or series I love:
Bible (especially Genesis, Romans, I and II Corinthians, Phillippians, and Hebrews)
Elisabeth Elliot (especially The Mark of a Man)
Elizabeth Prentiss - Stepping Heavenward
Corrie ten Boom (especially The Hiding Place)
L.M. Montgomery (especially the Anne books and the Story Girl books)
Jane Austen - any and all of her writings
Louisa May Alcott (especially An Old-Fashioned Girl)
Seven movies I watch over and over again:
The Andy Griffith Show (Do tv shows count?)
Pride and Prejudice (1995)
Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea
The Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended editions, of course)
The Sound of Music
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Seven people I want to do this (in alphabetical order, of course):
Those without blogs, feel free to comment to this post instead. Anyone else who would care to participate can share their responses in the comments section.