I spend my workday at CNBC searching for (and dealing with) breaking news. We've even titled the desk where I sit the "Breaking News Desk", so you know we take it quite seriously. Bottom line: I know breaking news when I see it.
Or at least, I thought I did.
Apparently, there's a story I missed: only a few select people have access to the internet. They're the only ones who see all those wonderfully funny jokes that circulate around the world. They're the only ones who have seen those hilarious videos of cats driving cars, science experiments gone horribly awry, and of buses crashing through windows. And they get first crack at those wonderful e-mails which, if you forward to enough people, will bring peace, harmony, and a few million dollars to the recipients.
OK, I'm being sarcastic here.
We all know people who take everything they find remotely interesting on the internet and forward it to EVERYONE they know. And not just occasionally. They also love the mathematical marvel that we all know as the internet chain letter, usually topped with a plea to "send to everyone you know!".
To these people I have but one question: "WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?????"
I get enough spam in my e-mail box. I don't want yours.
If you send me a chain letter, I will take one and only one action: hit the delete key. I really don't need the practice as I'm pretty good with that key, but if you insist on making me hit it, I will. If you say "please don't break the chain!", I'll think "then you shouldn't have sent this to me!".
If I receive any e-mail with more than one "FWD:" in the subject line, chances are it's going in the trash, unread.
If I get an e-mail with a few hundred recipients that's NOT an invitation to a party, it's going "poof"!
If you send me an e-mail that says "hilarious viewing", I guess you'll have to remain among the exclusive club of internet reviewers. I'm not viewing. I'm deleting.
I'm a very easygoing guy. Just ask anyone that knows me. But this kind of behavior makes my blood boil. I can't even imagine why anyone would think that they're the official internet monitors and that everyone they know needs to see everything THEY think is slightly interesting.
I'm not saying I've never enjoyed jokes or videos that are available on the internet. But I'll find them and enjoy them on my own time, in my own way.
So, if you want to e-mail me to say hi, no problem. If you want to forward me something you discovered in your exclusive tour of the internet, please think twice!