Please don’t send me chain texts

   Or chain - emails. Or chain-facebook statuses. I just don’t do chains! (Except the ones you wear around your neck). Some of you may be in the dark so allow me to enlighten you. A chain text/email/facebook status looks a little like this:

Look, it’s not personal but I won’t forward them... I won’t even read them...for many reasons. Get ready because I’m about to get sanctimonious.

   First of all, they’re annoying. Most of them have the same format and are stories I’ve been seeing on the internet since 2005. Sure, the first time round we didn’t mind because the whole online messaging thing was a novelty. Now, it’s getting real old real fast. There’s also the fact that most of them are based on urban legends.

   They have an aspect of emotional black-mail. Most of them end in a variation of the words ‘forward to 10 people and tomorrow you will meet the love of your life’ or ‘your crush will kiss you’ or ‘you will be surprised’. And then there’s the ones that end with death-threats. Something like ‘forward to 10 people or you will die early’.  I don’t believe in ‘fate’ or ‘destiny’ or ‘meant to be’. That just implies that every day when we wake up, we are playing Russian roulette with the universe. I do however believe in God’s will, and last time I checked, it wasn’t swayed by the forwarding of such messages.

   While we’re on the God thing, we might as well talk about those ‘religious’ chain texts. The one’s that have a list of (mostly) biblical declarations and end with a variation of ‘share if you love Jesus’ or ‘Share if you are part of the Kingdom of God’. Let the record show that yes, I’m a born-again Christian and yes, I believe in and try to carry out the Great commission. Let me also get spiritual.

So let’s not lie to ourselves that our salvation can be earned by the forwarding of such messages. And if you really want to minister to someone, go out and do something, speak to them anything but that. Because for most people those texts just annoy the heaven out of them instead of winning them over for Jesus. And the stories that are really bless people and have useful content, usually don’t come with electronic strings attached.

   If you love someone (not necessarily romantically) or if you want to speak blessings into their life, then just do it! With your own words. Contrary to popular belief chain texts do not make the other person feel special. They just show that you were too lazy to sit down and write something straight from the heart so you settled for sending them something pre-authored.

   Sometimes chain texts spread unnecessary panic. Kenyans have perfected this art. Usually I feel like punching the people who send those fake anti-terrorism tips. And some of them get so personal when you call them out on it. Can we please try to be responsible with information and the channels used to pass it? Just a little bit? Ok? Remember the story of the boy who cried wolf? We are becoming that boy!

   I feel that there’s a certain insecurity behind the authorship of chain texts. It’s like whoever comes-up with them is so worried about whether their text will go viral or not, that they resort to threatening people with karma. I...I just can’t. My disappointment in this is too great for words. If your text/email is viral-worthy, then it will go viral. And what’s this obsession our generation has with things going viral anyway. If you’re not part of a business, then I worry it may indicate some deep-rooted self-esteem issues!
This went viral all on it's own. And look! No death-threat to boot! :)
   So can we please agree to make the internet and whatsapp a more wholesome place by ceasing the forwarding of such?


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