Stop Sending Me Facebook Chain Mail

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Since I created my Facebook page, it seems like I am constantly receiving messages along the lines of:

Today is hug day in messenger! Please send this to all your loved ones and dearest friends and see how many hugs you will be returning. If you are a special person, you will get back at least 5! I’m waiting for mine. — An actual message that I have recieved.

All of these messages seem to follow a distinct theme. They begin with a sort of call to action, like, “tell someone you love them!” or “let's see how far we can share this heart around!” Following this call to action, there is a desperate plea that to me sounds like, “please share this all around OR ELSE.” Sometimes a message will even insult you by adding in a number that you should receive in return, and if you don’t? You are NOT a special person. They always end with the guilt trip, making you feel as if it is mandatory to send that same message back to your original sender.

The culprits of sending these messages are usually my two grandmothers and my mom. It seems like motherly instincts are drawn to these types of messages like moths to a flame. While I understand that these messages are supposed to be the Facebook version of thinking of you cards, the love doesn’t really come through for me.

In fact, I think that these messages seem to do the opposite. They leave me a bit annoyed- not because I don’t love you, Grandma, but you have already sent me 5,000 messages just like this one in the past 24 hours. Although I feel ungrateful for the love I receive, I also want to be honest here. I hate receiving them.

I would much rather receive a handwritten note or a simple message saying,

I love you! Love, Grandma.

It’s short and sweet, and even better- it doesn’t seem like an easy copy and paste job. It doesn’t feel like you just randomly sent this out to your other fifteen grandchildren, and co-workers, and kids, and just when you thought you couldn’t share it anymore? You also shared it with your old high school friends. Chain mail is hated for a reason. It is impersonal and usually is preying on guilt (and sometimes fear) to drive you to send it to others.

Remember those old messages that said,

This demon of the night is now going to kill you… unless you pass this on to six of your friends, it will kill you tonight! You have 24 hours- good luck.

Like, am I supposed to believe that this demon is going to kill me over chain mail? Also, if this is true, then I am supposed to condemn six of my friends to die? I don’t think so.

These messages, whether they’re positive or negative, are simply annoying. Mom, if you read this- leave me out of your chain mail messages. If you want to threaten me to “pass on” a virtual hug to you, you might as well just come and give me a hug. And if you’re a culprit? Consider this your PSA to stop sending chain mail.

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Abby Peeler

Abby Peeler

Journalism student at the University of Kansas | Ghosted in America Podcast Host