This has been posted to death, but a recent flurry in my inbox made it worth a comment.
Jim sent a message in reply to a thread.
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Bacn is a new epidemic. It's spam without the anger at the sender. The Linkedin, Facebook onslaught of noise won't last long, because we're all being trained to ignore it.
A good friend sent a Facebook alert of some sort to twenty of her friends. I replied to her with good wishes. Guess what? It triggered twenty more pings and twenty more emails... and on it goes.
Yet another nail in the "email used to be useful" coffin.