Wednesday, September 8, 1999 - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - 7&
lFmad and the seven deadly sins
- a beginners
on't be fooled e-mail is not
innocent. There are sins, my
friends, that shall not be com-
The temptations of e-mail are
many; fall from grace in the land of
login.itd.umich.edu is all but
Freshmen in particular are over-
zealous c-mailers, some misguidedly
thinking the number of messages in
their inbox is
proof of pop- Emily
ularity, akin to Achenbaum
tos from pic-
ture day in
E-mail is a DIAMOND IN
great way to THE RoUGH
stay in touch
with friends at
.different universities, free of charge.
*oYdTuiwill find yourself flirting over e-
iil, organizing meeting times with
your study groups over e-mail. You're
making friends, it seems, as you
show off your witty way with words.
Rut the novelty of "you have nine
new messages!" wears off - and you
ean make some enemies, or at least
iss the hell out of some people.
Before habits form, here are the
seven deadly sins of e-mail - study
them and break them at your own
I. "Please remove my
iame from this list"
ATfter ambitiously signing yourself
up for 18 organizations at Festifall,
.-,ou find yourself receiving e-mail
Afiiom clubs you never intended to be a
:Tart of. Fear of commitment sinks in.
-You want out - and all you need do
>ell the person who sent the e-mail,
ot everyone else in the group.
Apparently, this is very difficult,
given the high volume of such e-
rnails I have received. Let me explain
bow to do the deed, once and for all.
it "R" for reply. When the prompt
asks "reply to all recipients?" type
"N." "N" is for NO. You will find the
"N" key located between the "B" and
M' on your keyboard. Now, write
the group leader and ask them to
remove your e-mail address from
their list without harassing dozens of
other people with your ignorance.
Not a cyber-sex reference (do
whatever blows your skirt up) but a
sneaky little feature of the
University's login servers that appeals
to the stalker in all of us. Type "fin-
ger" and someone's uniquename at
the prompt, and the time and location
of their last login is yours. Best of all,
as most are concerned, your check-
ups into another's e-mailing activity
leave no trail. Fingering is hands-
down the easiest Pine tool to abuse.
Most peopleI know finger every-
one but assume know one is finger-
ing them. Perhaps not actually a sin
itself, fingering is the first step in no-
no's 3 and 4.
3a. The earth does not
revolve around you
Please don't finger someone and
then e-mail them, enraged, "I can't
believe you stopped by East Quad
today to check your e-mail and didn't
come visit me!" You only are admit-
ting to your cyber-stalking and
sounding needy. Do you want to be
needy? Nobody likes needy.
3b. The earth does not
revolve around you, part II
"I fingered you and saw you've
been online since I wrote you - why
didn't you respond to my latest e-
mail? Are you ignoring me? Are you
mad at me?"
4. Finger fretting
"Every time I've fingered Johnny
late at night, he's been logged in at
Markley. He never used to even go to
the Hill when we were dating. What
the hell is he doing up there? Wait a
minute - Ohmigod, that wench
Jenny he used to date in high school
lives in Markley! He's already hook-
ing up with her?! We just broke up a
It's highly possible Johnny and
Jenny are getting it on. But Jenny is a
wench. And Johnny was not worthy
of you. There are thousands of other
men at this University. Move on.
5. Using group accounts to
reply to just one person
yOHDAN DAMIAN CA/-ily
By the time stuednts become LSA juniors, like Junichi Takayana, they have learned about e-mail etiquette - even without the assistance of a helpful Daily columnist,,_.
You have friends that also belong
to the same volunteer organization e-
mail group. That's great. I'm glad
you have friends. And volunteering
puts another jewel in your crown in
heaven. But there's also a whole lot
of people that belong to volunteering-
firstname.lastname@example.org who don't know
you, or at least do not have the slight-
est interest in your personal life.
Believe me, no one else wants to
read your witty comment to Joe, what
time you'll be meeting Susie at the
Union tomorrow or how smashed you
and Peter got last night, so don't c-
mail everyone back when you just
really want to relay a message to two
or three people.
Many a tiff has gotten started over
e-mail, as it is a form of communica-
tion that is without voice tone, facial
expression and all the other nuances
used to interpret meaning in human
interaction. And remember, your nas-
tiest e-mail - with nastier side com-
ments and observations by the person
you wrote to - will be forwarded to
mutual friends. Word to the wise:
logout and pick up the phone or go
talk - in person.
7. Fight cancer, get laid, 20
reasons why God must be a
You will receive a plethora of junk
e-mail. None of it need be forwarded.
Everyone has seen the jokes a million
times, the American Cancer Society
does not create and track c-mails and
donate funds accordingly (who
thought that one up?) and if you think
forwarding an e-mail "fortune" to 10
friends in the next 10 minutes will
improve your sex life, you've got
problems I can't solve.
What makes me an e-mail authori-
ty? I've been the victim - or perp -
in all the e-mail crime cases listed'
above. Fighting over e-mail is sonei-
thing you learn, from mistakes, to nip
in the bud. Certain stupid e-mailsbeg
to be forwarded to friends. And fin-
gering your ex is oddly amusing.
Alright, so I may not always practice
what I preach - but I plead innocent
to Nos. 1, 3, 5 and 7. Hey, even I
won't stoop that low.
- Emily Achenbaum, the associate
editorial page editor of the Daily can
be reached via e-mail at
emilasa@dumih. edu. Send her csii.
mail and suffer the consequences.
~1 U I
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