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A plea from the family computer guy

Dear (aunt, uncle, or family friend);

This week I got a call from (family member) who said they hadn’t had email in a while.  I went through the usual troubleshooting stuff with them, and it came down to the fact that email was timing out.

I went over there, and 45 minutes later I found that there was a very large email in his/her queue.  (His/Her) internet connection is painfully slow…and I very nearly pulled out all of my remaining (hair / goatee) waiting for your emails to download.

Everyone loves (insert from Cats on Baths, Top 10 Surprising Thoughts, Mixed up Families), but the email originally went around eight years ago and is now dead.  Furthermore, it clocked in at (insert ridiculously large number here).

If you’ve got something funny to send, why not find the original website instead of inserting all of the pictures into a huge email?  A link to a website is much easier to download that dozens of megs on (relative’s) tiny little connection.

This would really help me out.  Heck, while you’re at it, why not come up with an original email, rather than forwarding the hundred millionth repeated warning about (insert from any of 200 urban legends quickly debunked at Snopes.com).

Thanks a ton
(insert name here)

By Brian Garside

Brian is a digital experience expert, and part time internet superhero. He focuses on digital first design, digital strategies, content management, website usability, and user experience. He was part of the team behind BalanceDo, the co-founder of All New Comics, and the chief strategist at NorthIQ.

3 replies on “A plea from the family computer guy”

Ugh…I so relate to this, Brian! What is it about e-mail chains that fascinates computer novices so much?

I also recommend moving the newbies over to Gmail – it simplifies things tremendously for them and for me. My call volume from panicked relatives and friends has dropped significantly since I started encouraging Gmail migration.

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