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send the link

This is a link:

THIS IS A LINK, YOU DUMBASS

...and you would be shocked at how many people don't know how to use them or why they matter.

One of the promises of "better living through technology" is that with hyperlinked documents, one can easily get to a document (as in a web page) instantly rather than having to pore through hundreds or thousands of documents to find what you're looking for. The whole point of links is to have a quick, easy shortcut that goes straight to the intended document.

Unfortunately, when people email me about stuff I've posted online, most never include a link.

Periodically I will receive emails from people with a question about something I posted to the internet. Could be a blog article here, on a different web site, maybe a YouTube video, a Facebook conversation or whatever. The problem? No link.

Want to know what's even worse? Some people just assume I will magically know what they're talking about without any linked reference.

A week or so ago this guy emails me about something I wrote here four years ago. Yep. Did he include a link? Nope. So I'm reading this email thinking, "Um.. what is this guy babbling about?" Because seriously, I didn't even know and didn't bother replying back. And it's not like he couldn't see the date of the blog post because the date is right under the title for every single blog post on this site.

Why is it that people don't link? Because it seems everyone on planet Earth has forgotten how to copy and paste text. Well... that's not entirely true. On my Facebook page, my fan base there is plenty smart enough to know how to link stuff and do it often. Those are cool guys and girls, said sincerely; they actually know how to use a computer right.

Copying and pasting a web address into the body of an email message is not difficult. If you can copy/paste in Word, you can do it in email. And don't give me that "I never learned how" nonsense. Copy/paste is the most basic thing you can do in a word processor next to typing.

Yes, this means if you can type, you can copy/paste; it is absolutely not something that requires hours of learning. More like seconds.

So the next time you want to email me about something I posted to the internet, moooooooooove your mouse to your browser's address bar, cliiiiiiiiick and draaaaaaaaag over the web address from right-to-left to highlight it, riiiiiiiiiiiight-click your mouse on the highlighted text, seleeeeeeeeeeeect the option to copy, compooooooooose a new email, mooooooooooove your mouse into the body of the message, riiiiiiiiiight-click, and seleeeeeeeect the option to PAAAAAAAAAASTE. Like magic, the web address is pasted into the email. Then I will know what you're talking about because you provided a link. Help me help you, jackass.

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