Chain texts are worse than chain e-mails because they are even more invasive, as people are literally attached to their cell phones. Chain texts really can’t be ignored. You have to address them – you can either send misery to another ten people, or delete, and perhaps suffer anxiety. As I said before, people with OCD or other anxiety disorders can be adversely affected by these texts.
My friend Laura brought this to my attention. Commenting on my last blog regarding annoying chain e-mails, Laura writes… "Great blog! Now the chain letters have leaked from the Internet into text messaging as well. I just got one the other day telling me that if I didn’t forward the text my mother was going to die. I hate these things."
Researching chain texts, I found some comments on Yahoo answers...
"I hate them! I know if I read them, most of the time i will be freaked out b/c they are scary...but I don't anyway! But on my phone, they just waste minutes! I dunno why people send them! We all know they aren't true! >:("
"A quick way too get a virus on your mobile and cost you money too get a new system and etc. An endless text message charges out the wah zoo."
There was not one good thing on there that anyone said in defense of these texts.
I found an article about Laura’s text, which was also a chain e-mail, written by Parry Aftab – here is an exerpt:
In 1997, when I was writing the “Parents Guide to the Internet” I began talking to tweens about their online experiences. One mother and tween shared an experience about a chain e-mail the girl had received. “Send this to ten of your closest friends, or your mother will die!” Clearly the kids had upped- the-ante since I was a tween 45 years ago. They hadn’t just moved online. They had moved from offering good luck and happiness to scare tactics.
This 11 –year-old promptly deleted the email, proud of herself for not falling for the message. Then, at 3am she woke up screaming, fearing she had signed her mother’s death warrant. No matter how hard her mother tried to convince her, the only way to get her to go back to sleep was to retrieve the email from the deleted file and send it to ten others. Her mother added a note to delete the message once the recipients get it.
There is actually a group on Facebook, "I Hate Chain Texts," who shares mine and Laura’s opinion:
OF COURSE I JOINED!!