So I’m checking my e-mail this morning. I usually do it first thing in the morning to see if there are any messages from professors or the station that I need to act on during the day. Sometimes there are, sometimes there aren’t. I also get messages from family and friends that I want to read.
I have no problems with any of this. This morning, however, was the last straw. As I said, I was checking my e-mail because I’m expecting something from a classmate. That message wasn’t there, but tucked into my “Bulk” folder was a HUGE message from some guy whom I don’t know, but whom I know is a friend of an acquaintance who sends me mail. It was a short text message with glurgy pictures attached.
Now, I don’t know what planet this guy comes from, but where I live it’s considered rude to dump a third party’s mailing list into your own address book, especially when you don’t know the people on that list. For all this guy knows, I’m our mutual acquaintance’s mother or minister or someone who just doesn’t give a shit. (For the record, I’m in that last category.)
My mother did that to me once, before I figured out how to use blind copy. She dumped my friends into her address book and started sending them glurge. When my mother sends glurge, she doesn’t send out one message at a time, she sends 'em out by the dozens. Now, I like my friends and I want to keep them. I e-mailed my mother to ask her to take those names out. She was confused before I explained that I’d gotten a few e-mails complaining about unwanted mail from a woman they didn’t know.
So, if I can suggest a good rule of thumb: If you would send a personal letter to this person, go ahead and add that person’s name to your address book. But if you wouldn’t, don’t bother. Or, if your self-esteem depends on the number of names in your address book, at least introduce yourself and ask me if it’s okay. That’s not unreasonable, is it?