I Dare You To Pass This

I know the concept sounds familiar. Many people nowadays are drawn to messaging and social networks, practically any electronic medium that sends out any kind of information, important or not. Part of this exchange between two users or more within the compounds of cyberspace or text messaging is a concept so familiar that anyone can recognize its label and purpose. You’ve read it and you probably passed it on. The question now is,

Did you really believe it?

There was a time when ‘memes’ haven’t swarmed the internet yet, where simple photo-sharing, chatting and other cyberspace interactions were at a mild level. But since the dawn of social networks such as ‘Friendster’, ‘Multiply’ and the uprise of Facebook, a senseless type of information-dissemination scattered from a single source to if not thousands, millions of people within a shared network. It became a thing, and it’s called: CHAIN MESSAGING.

‘Chain Messaging” is a type of messaging where a cause is being disseminated through different mediums such as group text messaging or social networking sites (particularly, Facebook). The concern whether the cause is important or not lies within the content of the message itself. There are three things that are fundamental to chain messaging:

1. Content
2. Receivers
3. Number of people who have forwarded the message.

But the most important of them all is the ‘content’. The last two on the list are only secondary to the source or creator of the message.

“A girl dies in her closet on the night of the first day of November. Now this message has been cursed. If you don’t pass this message on to 10 people in less than 15 minutes, the girl who died will haunt you tonight and slit your throat.”

“Jesus has blessed me with blessings today. Now those blessings are going to be passed on you. Send this message to 15 people if you really believe in God and  if you do, Jesus will do something good for you today. If you don’t, the devil will make you worship him.”

“If you could just pass this to anyone and tell them to forward the message to someone else to, you’d be helping our cause of promoting good health through a seminar this coming weekend. It will help a lot of you all could come.”

There are three examples above and they all fall below “Chain Messaging.” The last example could be a good influence to the society. Promoting good health and the like, then forwarding them to help gain audience is a good cause. But what about the other two?

This is what bothered me a lot, even then…ESPECIALLY then. Chain messaging died down lately, and I couldn’t be more thankful. Anyway, what bothered me was the type of panic, paranoia and fear that settled within these mediums of communication. Even I can say, I fell victim to these types of messages once. I didn’t sleep because they said a ghost was coming for me by 3 in the morning. But I was a kid then. Still, one of the the worst parts about it was chain messaging doesn’t care how old you are, as long as you believed the damn thing, you’ll fall into a paranoia-inducing trap. From kids with cellphones, teenagers with their laptops to mothers who are social network users.

The worst kinds of chain messages are those that taunt us from our faith and those that alter our presumptions about our destiny or our future saying, “You’ll never gain success in the next ten years.” For these types of messages, they just crossed the line.

But you don’t put the blame on the system of chain messaging itself. It’s to those people who create these negative messages to the public. Sometimes I ponder upon why do they even bother scattering these messages, for fun? For pranks? But, it’s a waste of time even thinking about this stuff.

Just like how it’s a waste of time passing on these senseless and negative messages of, to put it mildly, THREAT.

To readers who may understand what I’m talking about, negative chain messaging has died down a little bit lately. Still, there are some people who still try and flood my inbox and newsfeed and even private chat messages.

For those readers who are guilty of participating in the dissemination of these messages, your LIFE, LOVE and FAITH does not depend on such idiotic messages. Therefore there is no need to be scared. It’s a waste of time and aside from disturbing your peaceful minds, you’ll be disturbing others, and the fire rages on. Everybody has fears of their own, but these chain messages have no basis or any valid reason. Someone can’t have a phobia on chain messaging.

It’s just not worth fearing.

But who am I to dictate people’s feelings towards these scary chain messages? Nobody. But I hope this message in a form of an opinion article may help and encourage those who create or participate (due to fear) in this type of negative chain messaging. Cheers to those who promote a good cause and ask nothing in return but to just forward the message with no threat. Now, for those who has the time then,

I DARE YOU TO PASS THIS.

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