Uncategorized, Writing

All These Links Make More Chains. And, These Chains are Like a Noose.



In this modern age of technology, we are linked, hooked up, in sync, online, surfing the web, and interconnected in a way that is downright immediate (and a little creepy).  Say someone is trying to reach you at home.  No answer?  No worries.  They can text, post, Tweet, Skype, email, and IM.  They can even (begrudgingly) resort to snail mail, or, possibly, alien abduction.  (You’ve all seen those shoes on the side of the road, right?)  There is literally nowhere to hide.  No, “Oops, sorry — didn’t know you were trying to get a hold of me,” excuses anymore.

It’s a sad day when such lies no longer have merit.

All of these modes of communication have created a world that seems smaller and more accessible.  But, these virtual pathways mean something else, too.  There are now even more ways to send chain letters.  Yes, I’m talking about sticker club chains, and recipe chains.  Good luck chains, and prayer chains.  Send-me-money-or-I’ll-die chains, and send-this-letter-or-you’ll-die chains.  And, many, many more.

To this, I say: Hello World — I’m the chain breaker!  Please don’t send me anything that needs to get duplicated, added to, answered, or forwarded on.  I’ve been (self) diagnosed with CLA — Chain Letter Aversion — and there is no cure.   

You know that chain letter that has been circulating since 400 B.C?  Sorry, I broke it.  How about the emailed list of first names for that kid’s Science Fair project?  Didn’t add mine.  And, I almost had a nervous breakdown when a friend mentioned passing along the Amish Friendship Bread.  Bubbling dough?  Instructions?  Copying?  Mixing?  Distributing?  Nightmare.   Too bad we were going out of town.  Now, here we are with the “Boo” thing at Halloween — you know, where kind neighbors leave you treats on your doorstep?  Thank you so much, but I’ll probably blow that, too.

However, I don’t think I’m the only one with Chain Aversion.  The few times I have tried to participate, my supposed eleventy-seven responses have topped out at…zero.  Yet, someone, somewhere is answering, or these things would have been long dead by now.

I do appreciate the thought of many of these “pass-it-on” attempts.  They’re supposed to be fun, helpful, friendly or insightful.  Even here in Blogosphere, I’ve discovered the more subtle crouching-tiger chain letters.  How else to describe my inability to respond to a tag from the interesting and talented Maura at 36X37 to answer some quirky questions, and tag others in turn?  Or, what about my paralysis at accepting and re-distributing a blogging award from the prolific and witty Wendy at Herding Cats in Hammond River?  I fear my chain letter radar has been confused, set off, and is causing rapid finger-twitching (towards the Delete button) as we speak.

So, to all of you chain senders…thank you for thinking of me.  Thank you for your interest in what I have to say.  Thanks…er, but no thanks.  I suspect there will be a place for me and the rest of the chain breakers of the universe somewhere between the Gluttons and the Litterbugs in Dante’s Inferno.  And, the punishment will be to copy in triplicate, and send forth for eternity.


*Photo credit: Snopes.com

Please click and visit Maura and Wendy to thank them better than I have.  Also, to pass on the bloggy love:  Check out Ignorant and The Flying Scribbler to get your Flash Fiction fix.

24 thoughts on “All These Links Make More Chains. And, These Chains are Like a Noose.”

  1. Love it, Amanda! Thanks for the shoutout!

    I too am a “chain-breaker”! It’s gotten so that I hit “Delete” on principle the minute I see “send this to 5 people within 30 seconds, or purple hair will sprout in your nostrils!”

    Jim was watching old Mary Tyler Moore episodes on TV, and there was one about a chain letter Lou sent Mary…she threw it in the garbage, and got caught! Funny stuff!



  2. I am with you. I never forward anything anymore. I used to, but why? Because somehow I felt compelled, especially the prayer emails. Or the bad luck if you don’t forward this email. Then nothing changed and I thought, what a waste of time. I think a lot of people have stopped forwarding, as I am not getting nearly as many as I used to in the past.


    1. I am superstitious of those bad luck ones. I won’t even open them, lest my eyes read the message and the catastrophes start to befall me seven days later…


  3. Forwards amuse me. They might offer an idea for a blog post, or a facebook status or idle chitchat with the person I have no idea what to talk to about. However, I rarely forward them on. Ok I did Halloween moon a few people by text (I’m not perfect).
    Usually when I get a lot of forwards from one person, the person is looking to play so I invite them to my facebook page.
    Wow, I have been losing sleep wondering who broke that chain letter from 400 BC. Now I know! THANK YOU!


  4. oh and it just dawned on me that being tagged is kind of a chain letter as well…hmmm funny, I’d never realised that, I saw it more as a virtual game of tag lol


  5. Love it.

    1. Your first paragraph. So true. They don’t answer their cell, so you call them at home, then text them. Then, when you see them you say “Did you get my text?” I live in fear of video phones becoming a reality.

    2.I ALWAYS break the chain.


  6. I, too, am a chain-breaker. I’m estimating that I’ve racked up about 187 years of bad luck, 24 wishes that won’t come true and dozens of friends with hurt feelings because I didn’t forward the email to 20 people, including them to show I cared.

    How do I sleep at night? Very well, thank you 🙂


  7. Hallelujah Sister! I hate getting those chain emails that try to convince me that the world will end if I break the chain. I really hate the ones that say I have to show my loved ones that I really love them by forwarding the email onto all of them. Sorry….every chain message I have ever received has stopped with me! And….thanks for enlightening me on the shoes alongside the road! Damn! I must live in the abduction capital of the US! 🙂 Have a great day!


  8. Well said! It’s amusing how the chain letter has morphed into the blog meme, and all the hashtags on twitter.

    After a while you get sick of participating, and then need to find an inoffensive way to say “no thanks!” 🙂


  9. The worst is when it says something to the effect of “send to five wonderful people in your life…including the person who sent it to you.” I always feel kind of bad–but not bad enough to participate, hehehe.


  10. Nicely done, Amanda. I too am a chain-breaker. We should form a club. 😉 Facebook is another place where I’m starting to get tagged with “list your favorite [fill in the blank]. I love it if I have time, but more and more often, I’m having to say no.

    You said no in a very nice way. 😉


  11. Great post! I still remember the first time I deleted the email that said “If you don’t send this to 10 people in three minutes, something awful will happen to you.” I literally held my breath. Shockingly, I survived.



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