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Advice from Dear Webby
Too Many E-mails and Jokes

Dear Webby,

So many of my friends are sending me e-mail thoughts and jokes. It takes time to read them all and most aren't that interesting or funny.

Today I received a Birthday card via email. If they can't afford a stamp or a few minutes to call me why bother at all?

Also, I am always afraid to open them up and find a virus. How can I tell them to stop without hurting their feelings?

Tired of the Email

Dear Tired

Webby has received several e-mails about this subject. It's a product of the changing times.

Some people love to receive e-mail and find it an easy way to keep in touch. Webby has been able to communicate with friends with whom she might otherwise have lost contact. It is so much easier to dash off a "Hi how are you doing" then to write a letter, and mail it.

It is also so much less formal. Phone calls can be a problem: I stay up late and she gets up early, the line is always busy, I haven't time for a long conversation just want to let you know I'm thinking of you and so on. You can send an e-mail at your convenience and they can read it at theirs.

Certain times and occasions do call for a phone call. E-mail is not the answer to everything. But would Webby rather get an e-mail than not hear from someone? You bet she would!

Sending e-mail cards has been a blessing for people short on cash. However that seems to be changing as more and more companies are charging for them. Also sometimes it's hard to get out to buy a card or mail it.

It's fun and creative to pick out the card and even the music, and then write your own sentiments. It always arrives on the right day (can't say that for the mail any more).

There is also much to be said for the card brought by the mail person that you can open and physically handle and put on the mantle. Different strokes for different folks.

As to the amount of time spent on e-mails, Webby checks the names and subject lines until she sees a familiar name and then only opens those.
(E-mails sent to webby@Clevelandseniors.com are of course read.) Unless you have a tremendous amount of friends this shouldn't take too long.

If you only open e-mail from people you know and have updated Anti-Virus protection you shouldn't have to worry about viruses. Be sure not to click on any attachments that you aren't 100% sure who the sender is.

If you still find it too time consuming, you could tell your friends not to feel bad if you don't respond to jokes and cute sayings but that you just don't "do them." As time goes by without a response or e-mails from you they should take the hint. If not it is easy to quickly delete e-mail messages in mere seconds.

You should also feel very fortunate that you have so many friends who want to include you in their lives.

Webby just hopes you won't miss the camaraderie the rest of your friends are sharing and feel left out. We have to think twice before we burn bridges.

Good luck,


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