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5 online vices!

Forenote: Apologies for sounding so crass in this post - its a rant, so guess its ok. But if it bothers you to read - don't!

1. Changing one's name on a social network to some cryptic text/phrase
In the days of yore (read:2005-7) when social networks like Orkut did not have the facility of setting your status, many people changed their display names to reflect their status such as "got married", "now in Pune" etc. Now that all social networks provide a "status" field, I don't think people need to continue to change their display names - yet, so many of them do! 

Again, while most are sensible to append these messages after their names, some people completely replace their names with the message. Coupled with the fact that such people often use a cartoon or random image as their profile photo, it becomes impossible to determine the person's identify even when you visit their profile. And with some who have peculiar email IDs such as arbit-date-of-birth@gmail.com, it is even more difficult to find out who this is.

Arrrrgh!! is all I can say!

2. Inviting your whole address book to every new service you sign up on - or sending cold drinks to everyone on your facebook network
I have ranted about this before, and the popular culprits nowadays are MyDailyFlog and IndyaRocks which ask you to send an invite to all your "friends" by importing your address book. What's worse, MyDailyFlog sends out daily alerts to each email in your address book about photos added. 

While my ire should genuinely be for websites who create such spam but as users we too are guilty of abbetting such (crime?) behaviour by importing address books to new service which we are not sure of. If you feel a service is good, sure refer me to it, personally through a separate email, but don't import your address book and contribute to your account being flagged red by me!

3. Changing the subject of the email every time you reply (or replying to an email on another unrelated mail thread)
People of the previous generation who started using email after crossing their 40s are often found guilty of not following this etiquette, and ought to be forgiven. But it pains when a friend, colleague or (even worse) younger cousin resorts to such online behaviour. 

Unfortunately, the practice of conversing through scrapbooks/walls on social networks where there IS NO subject line has given rise to this tendency.  But all you teenage (or past teens but non-email friendly) people out there - email is here to stay in your lives. You are not going to use scrapbooks at work to submit your documents, to connect to clients or colleagues - you are going to email them! So the sooner you learn email etiquette the better. 

4. Replying All, on a mail spam and including completely unknown people on your reply
Oh!! the deadliest of all - a friend sends you a wedding invite or a personal update. He sends it to all his acquaintances - from school, college, work, family et. al. And one of them, replies to all, irrespective of whether s/he knows them or not. Someone replies to this one, again to all .. and so on. Resulting in a deluge of mails - and god forbid if they change the subject line the conversation fills up your inbox in an hour. Goodness!

So, the next time you send an update, please make sure you type in email addresses of all "unrelated" recipients in the Bcc box, so that they can't see each other's emails (Mind you - if you were a company sending such emails in CC:, you could be guilty of privacy breach). And if you happen to receive such an update - please press the "Reply" button and not "Reply All" - you can add whoever you wish's email IDs in the CC: later, but don't just assume that everyone's interested in your wisecracks! 

5. Keeping 1000s of email unread lying in your inbox
Well Sonny - what I do weeth my personal email is no beezness for you! I agree, it isn't but I often end up being the victim of this unhygienic habit not maintaining your personal inbox when I send an email and its arrival is lost in the already bulging unread count in your Inbox.

I urge you - if you don't want to read all your email - don't but then at least Archive it, Delete it or move it to a Folder - but please keep your Inbox within a few "100" if not tens of Unread counts - it will help you notice when a new email arrives, for mah sake mama if not yooors

Note: I think this is a tagworthy topic to write about - let me tag ... umm Shubham, Hemant, Manish, and Anna. 

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