If you’ve got a pre-teen or tween daughter on email, then they are getting chain letters. Most of these aren’t too different from the ones we used to send in the postal mail: you have to add names to the list and forward the message to others; you have to take action quickly or “bad” things will happen to you; if you do participate, good things will happen to you, and so on. The list of threats or treats varied but the basic premise was the same; follow a series of instructions created by a stranger, share your personal contact information with strangers and do so quickly, before you have time to think about it.
We parents can recognize the potential for harm here. We want our children to think BEFORE they act. Or in the language of the National Cyber Security Alliance’s internet safety slogan, “Stop. Think. Connect.” Crossing the street gets a similar cautionary instruction to “Stop. Look. Listen” before proceeding.
I don’t like chain letters and here are five reasons why: