A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Email Spam Manifestation a la 1998

Remember the days when email groups, or whatever the heck they were called, were the COOLEST thing ever? We had a group for my class, grade 9B, with which we’d spend hours bullying the mind-numbing people. We also used to send lame-ass forwards, homework assignments, and pick on idiots who were too thick-skinned to quit the group themselves. Email groups were really cool then.

But it was 1998.

And I was 13.

And email groups were practically Facebook.

These days, a handful of my over 55-years-old distant and not so distant family members have somehow discovered the internet. You’d think that anyone who discovers the internet in 2010 would jump right ahead to blogs, YouTube, and Facebook, but unfortunately, that is apparently not the case.

To my surprise, the online coming-of-age for people over 55 seems to be email groups. They sit and joke over their VIP groups, and bully each other over who is cool enough to join.

“No, you send jokes too lame for even a forward, you cannot belong in my Cowboys mailing list. I have another one though, for people like you, you can join that one.”


“Ahh darling, the email you sent with the djinn in Hajj was really scary. Subhan Allah.”

Glare. Bite my tongue and try not to mention that little invention that starts with “photo” and ends with “shop”.

Okay, you see, I wouldn’t have had a problem with this 10-years-too-late internet discovery for Amman’s senior citizens.

Except that they somehow all have my email.



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Mario’s Closet :)


  1. I’m still getting those emails that I will die if I don’t forward them to 20 people in 20 minutes, do those people forwarding them have an IQ any higher than 3?

  2. Craig

    lol. Roba, usenet was what the tech-nerds were into in 1998. I think I was only using email groups for work back then! And Compuserve and *gasp* AOL along with Prodigy for the low-brow people was the “Facebook” of the early 1990s. personally, I’ve been on facebook for years and I don’t see much point to it. I used to play a couple of their games and participate in a few forums, but there are much better games and much better forums elsewhere. I don’t think I’ve even logged into facebook in months. Maybe you have to be young to care so much about superficial “friendships” with hundreds of people most of whom you probably barely even know. I don’t get it! High maintenance for very little payoff! On the other hand I’m in several email groups now which are quite useful to me. I stay up to date on issues I care about without having to invest a lot of time and effort on it.

    Bottom line is that most of what is available on the internet now has been available on the internet for ~20 years, it’s just been modernized and repackaged. Also, it’s targeted at a much younger crowd (like teenagers) whereas teens who even had access to computers in the old days were few and far between. Despite the “conventional wisdom”, the internet is totally mainstream now. It’s not the exclusive domain of nerds and geeks that is used to be :)

  3. I was thinking the exact same thing. I still get forwards from 2 people and SURPRISE they are a bit older.

  4. Hareega, haha, right? I always wonder if people forward them “Zanakha” willa they 3anjad slightly believe in them. People are dumb.

    Chris, we never had AOL in the Arab region, but I remember it being all over TV and magazines and stuff. Funny how some of these internet giants have very small lifespans.

    7aki, yup.I guess it’s the easiest thing to learn, spamming is.

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