"Send this to ten people and you'll meet the love of your life in seven days." "Break the chain and you'll have one year of bad luck." We've all had that friend, relative, or coworker who forwards the most ridiculous messages to us, bearing these kinds of promises--or warnings. They started out as public postings, or even junk mail. With the evolution of technology, these letters evolved into e-mails, and then text messages, which then in turn became posts on social media. I used to fall for these all the time (after all, why take the chance?), forwarding and reposting whatever I needed to in order to "avoid" the bad luck. Nowadays, though, I just roll my eyes and keep scrolling. How is passing on some random message going to protect anyone from equally random events, anyway?

It seems that the presence of chain letters/emails/posts has started to decline recently, but not before making a bit of a resurgence with the introduction of emojis. In high school, I would receive text messages with long strings of random symbols, replacing words, numbers, and the familiar ":-)" or ":-P." It got to the point where if I would see a post with more than three emojis in a row, I would automatically just glance over it.

Granted, most of the "repost/share for good luck" posts I see on my news feed are more good-natured: "Share this for immunity against any posts that promise you bad luck and misfortune." (This one is great for the especially superstitious recipient.) "Repost the lucky pencil to pass all your finals." "Pass on the lucky $20 and you will come into money this week." Some of them are even for the purpose of advocacy--often you'll see posts like, "Waitresses' wages should be adjusted to reflect how much they're actually tipped--share if you agree" or "[insert controversial political opinion here], only the ones who aren't afraid of the truth will repost."

How often do you run across chain emails or messages every day? Are you a serial forwarder, or do you simply delete the message and break the chain?

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