It all started innocently enough when I got a web mail account and an email address late last century. I quickly immersed myself into the online world. Oh, how I loved the ease with which I could communicate with my friends and family, flashing messages across the cyber-universe in seconds. The nearly instantaneous response to my messages made me giddy. Little did I know that I would become an email addict, and then the lowest of the low – an email junkie a.k.a. a frammer.
Soon everyone had an email address and I gathered up as many as I could. Soon my email address book had well over two hundred. I began to receive multiple emails from my contacts with what I felt was amusing and interesting content. Several times I thought, “I should send this to so-and-so…” and bam! That’s when I found the beauty of the “forward” option. I realized I could easily forward things to my growing network of family and friends.
I started out slowly, maybe once a week to one and two people at a time. Then it became twice a week to numerous people. Then it was every other day to everyone I knew. It seemed like the more spam I sent out the more I received in return and the more I had to forward. It was a downward spiral of fram after fram. Then the complaints from the people in my network began to filter in. Siblings and college buddies were the most vocal, asking me politely to stop. I continued sending them all annoy time-wasters like video of a rat riding a cat riding a dog. Then they asked more stridently, “Dude, stop sending me that stuff! You’re overloading my inbox.” Still, I continued unabated, convinced that I was doing something nice, sharing.
Then the unthinkable happened. I killed someone…Well, sort of. My uncle was in the process of deleting yet another piece of fram from me, when he seized up and dropped dead from a heart-attack. My aunt said he was muttering about “junk email” just before his ticker gave out.
How did I react? Like any framming junkie: I found my uncle’s obit online at the local newspaper’s website and blasted the link to everyone in my network, even the people who assumed I crawled out from under a rock and had no relatives. This was when I hit bottom. I was ready for a change. I didn’t want to be called Sam** the Fram Man the rest of my life.
Luckily, I found help online at McAfee’s Security Advice Center (www.mcafee.com/advice). There was a rather small but memorable advertisement with the words “Are you fram stupid?” Intrigued and without an inkling of what was about to happen, I clicked on the ad. Soon I was reading story after story about framming. It was an online intervention that changed my digital life forever. I began to follow McAfee’s 12-Step Frammers Recovery Program and I am proud to say I haven’t frammed in over 18 months now.
If you, or someone you know, has a problem with forwarding junk email, please read more about fram and how to stop at www.mcafee.com/fram.
* = not a real person
** = not my real name but it rhymes with fram