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Email Thread That Spread

By: Ella Rook

Screenshots of “Join dtech swimming”, the longest whole school email chain in d.tech history

If your inbox has recently blown up with requests to join the swim team, d.tech memes, links to fill out surveys, Rico Levitt’s SoundCloud rapping, Brendon Lin’s UberEats coupons, and pleas for it all to stop, then you’re not alone.

The most recent bombardment of emails started on January 18th when sophomore Boris Malykin sent a seemingly innocent email to every student at d.tech, asking us to fill out a survey indicating our interest in joining the d.tech swimming team. He did so without using Blind Carbon Copy (BCC), and since then, over three hundred emails have been sent on the thread, each one going out to every single student at d.tech.

When asked why he sent out an email survey asking students to join the swim team, Malykin simply responded “I don’t know.” He later confessed that the thread was “for the fun of it” and “just a joke.” However, not everyone finds the joke funny. Junior Yohanna Konardi thought the thread was “annoying” and muted it immediately, while senior Jonathan Ferreira thinks that “it’s pretty stupid” and uses Discord, a group chat service, to talk about “who sent the worst meme.”

Conversely, senior Wyatt Mathers stated that he thinks some of the “memes are funny,” — he noted that the funniest may have been one made by Matija Lukic about the swim chat email that pictures the “here’s Johnny” scene from The Shining with the caption “hey have you joined dtech swimming yet”. He also offered an insight as to why email chains start in the first place. He believes that the lack of a d.tech forum or whole school message board leads students to share content inappropriately through intrusive email chains. Interestingly, d.tech does have a subreddit (r/designtechhighschool) which was prototyped in 2016 by senior Matthew Eng. The subreddit has since fallen out of use, which Eng claims is because “all the links get blocked.” With no easy way for d.tech students to spread information, some feel the need to turn to chain emails to get the attention of their fellow students.   

Executive Director Dr. Ken Montgomery asks for students to “flex their empathy muscle” when it comes to sending out mass emails. He clarified that if a student needs to spread the word about something, then they should email a member of the administration, for example, Sarah Krummel, to ask for it to be put on the announcements page or ask d.leadership to announce it at the next community meeting. He also emphasized that staff now have an alert that notifies them if a student account is sending out so many emails that the program considers it spam.

So, what can you do to stop the onslaught of emails? The most important thing is to not respond. Even if you only want to respond to tell other people to stop responding, you are still sending an email to the entire school and adding gasoline to a fire that is already roaring. Secondly, you can mute the email thread by opening the email chain, clicking “more” and then clicking “mute” in the drop down menu. Now, you won’t be notified of any new emails that have been sent. Finally, if you ever feel the need to send an email to the whole school, don’t. And if that feeling is consuming you and you lack the self control to stop yourself, for the love of God, use BCC. This nifty feature sends the email privately, and individually to all recipients, ensuring that no chain emails can start. With this storm of emails still raging on, the best thing you can do is hunker down and wait it out.

 

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