Dear Labby: Forwarded messages are clogging my in-box

Dear Labby,

I love dogs, I have three. My extended family thinks I’m kooky, and I guess in a way, they’re right. Problem is, a good many of them think they’re doing me a favor by forwarding every dog-related joke, photo, video, or news item that comes their way. Once in a while, that’s fine. But my in-box is becoming overrun with garbage. Very little of it interests me. Can I tell them to stop? If so, how?

Signed:

Slightly Perturbed About Mailbox Habitually Overrun by Utterly Needless Drivel

Labby says:

Oh, but the photo of the baby coloring all over the sleeping Pit Bull with magic marker is sooooooo cute!!!!! (Sorry, I sent that one around to everyone I knew.)

If hitting delete is that irritating, S.P.A.M. H.O.U.N.D., it’s certainly acceptable to request a ceasefire. No one wants to wade through image after image of puppies dressed as Yoda when all we really want to know is, did Betty friend me on Facebook?

Perhaps an email letting offenders know that while you appreciate the thought, the deluge has become distracting. Be tactful, but direct, with a friendly, low-key tone. One more suggestion: Use that BCC function when sending your note.

But be warned: Don’t be surprised if Aunt Ada tries to slip one under the in-box door: “I know you hate doggie emails, but this joke had me LOL!!! A priest, a rabbi, and a Shih Tzu walk into a bar…”