Chain Letter = TIME WASTED!

I can’t count how many times a day I hear “if only I had more time” or “oh, I wish I had time to” or “or sorry . . . not now, I’m in a rush.”  Amazingly enough, or not, most of these people constantly post messages on social networks urging us to “repost this if you . . . “  The same folks forward email which insists that if I don’t forward it within 5 minutes to everyone I know, something dreadful will happen to me but promise that if I do forward it, my wealth will increase immensely and my life will never be the same.  “Act now – right after you read this!”  Chain letters.  That’s all these empty claims and false threats and unfulfilled promises amount to.  I’m old enough to recall chain letters when they came in the mailbox and were written on paper.  Same basic theory.  They demanded that I write out lots of copies of the letter and send it to all my friends or my life and livelihood and those of my friends and family would be in danger.  Same game as ever, now via electronic media.  Some of these seek personal information, request money, etc.  Please tell me you’re not that naive?

How many times have we said or heard someone else say any of the following:

  • ·        I wish I had more time with my kids
  • ·        I would love just a few minutes alone with my spouse
  • ·        I could really use some quiet time
  • ·        I wish I had time to read a good book
  • ·        TV?  I can’t even squeeze in time to watch the news!
  • ·        Cook?  No time – I’ll buy takeout
  • ·        Daily prayer?  I don’t have time for that! 
  • ·        I didn’t have time to make the bed
  • ·        I’ll buy coffee on the way to work

 The list could go on and on and many of the things on this list could easily be fit into our day if we carved out a 15 minute break to accomplish it.  Yet so often that is considered impossible.  However, how much time is spent reading those tiresome chain letters which we receive by email and through social media?  How many have you received in the last hour?  How often do you struggle to find 10 people to “forward this to” and hope you can find enough who don’t know you too well because you’re embarrassed to be doing this but can’t break the chain?  Come on, you don’t have to tell me, but admit it to yourselves, won’t you? 

 Did you know that these chain letters (by any other name) can also be illegal?  True!  In the United States gambling is not legal everywhere and some of these chain letters are considered by the government to be gambling.  Others are considered pyramid schemes, go against Post Office regulations, are considered fraud, or contain viruses which you spread to your friends’ computers when you forward them.  They also go against regulations at many offices, schools, and colleges.  As I view it, sending them gains us nothing and the potential loss is too great. 

 Some of my friends frown at me when they find out I delete these things, remove them from my “wall” on social networking sites, and rip them up when they come by the rare postal mail delivery.  I am told “oh, but they’re fun” and recently lady from my church sent a get rich quick scheme chain letter because “you never know.”  Sorry to disappoint anyone, but what I do know is that the time I could be wasting  participating in these activities is better spent hugging someone I love, saying an extra prayer, reading an extra chapter or two in my book, or brewing a pot of coffee.  Try it!  You can find the time!

8 Responses to Chain Letter = TIME WASTED!

  1. maryaquino says:

    Funny, I do the same thing – delete. I don’t forward anything except if it’s hysterically funny or amazing – and I typically take the “chain” aspect out of it.

    I am also victim of being on the same “forward list” of several friends. So I get “it” (whatever IT is) multiple times…

    Honestly, my goal in life is to never have to say “If I only had time to…” It’s not going that well right now, but I’m fulfilling the one thing I feel most dedicated to – spending as much time as I can with my parents as they age. THAT is something you can’t get back…so I spend time with them, rather than forwarding chain emails.

    (Oh, I remember those letters you got in the mail – back then, they weren’t signed…now-a-days, they’re “signed” by our email addresses…)


  2. Chrisco1 says:

    So true–love it!


    • Thanks! This one was largely inspired by a couple of meetings at church recently where folks were urged to spend more time in prayer and listening to the Lord and laughed at the notion of having to carve out even a few minutes. I realized a number of them posted, and emailed this crap, and so a blog article was born. lol


  3. Barbee says:

    Excellent article, Martha!
    I don’t care who sends the chain email…even if it is a good friend…I delete it as fast as I can!
    Anyone with a firm grasp of our Lord’s limitless grace knows that we cannot find wealth, or whatever it is they promise, through a chain letter and/or email.
    I think it is kind of creepy…and after reading your article I understand better why I always distrusted emails of that sort.
    Hope you are doing well!
    I am leaving for a summer trip to the Pacific Northwest…visiting my very best friend and her dog, a Newfoundland named Tyler.
    I’ll be posting from there so I will be able to keep up with visiting my favorite blogs… take care and bee well 🙂


    • Thanks and have a wonderful time! I’m so anti “crap” mail that I warn folks not to forward mail to me and not to send me file attachments without calling first. They will all be trashed.


  4. The ones I hate the most are the ones that say God will bless you if you forward this to ten people in the next five minutes. Our God does not operate on a chain mail system. 🙂 Good story Martha!


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