Gumbaby

"Children's Letters to Raven-Symone."   Eric D. Snyder maintains an email address which appears to be that of actress Raven-Symone, and posts the misbegotten email which comes streaming in. As he says, "we don’t mock their letters for being mis-sent. We mock them only for being illiterate and hilarious."
From Eric D. Snyder's Blog . Filed under: celebrity,youth —  Comments (0)
hey raven why didn’t you e-mail me ? now i’am mad at you again. please e-mail me. this is your godchild remeber lemria elementry but now i’m in middle school in your home town. you came to my house .you probly forgot . cause it was like in 2007 in august. well bye. oh and my frien will e-mail you . and she will say hi i am you stocker. she just playing with you .

Every now and again I run into a gumbaby where someone makes a claim like “I’m your godchild” or “I knew your sister in high school” or “you sent us such-and-so,” and I wonder if it’s really true. There’s few enough of these that it doesn’t seem like a tactic to evoke false familiarity. And yet, if these people really did have a peripheral tie to the celebrity, why wouldn’t they try talking to their sister or mom or whomever the connection was through? Research shows that people usually begin information-seeking through interpersonal sources. Did they tire their sister out with pestering? Did they think the Internet was a better conduit? It’s an interesting puzzle.

In this case, of course, this wasn’t originally posted to a blog; it was sent to a dummy email address aimed at suckering people into writing to a celeb. There’s some evidence people are perhaps a little playful with how they write to these addresses, so perhaps the writer here is engaging in some more flights of fancy than she might otherwise.

Also of interest in the twenty-some-odd posts Snider has devoted to this lopsided correspondence are the comments posted by some of his readers, who reminisce about their own experience sending mail to celebrities at an early age:

When I was about 10, I was OBSESSED with Belinda Carlisle. I bet I wrote her a dozen letters telling her that I was her biggest fan, that I used to dress like I was in the Go-Gos, and that I really wanted her to do a concert here in Louisiana to which I wanted backstage passes so I could meet her. But then I got older and realized that the world did not revolve around me.

Further indication this might be a predominantly age-dependent phenomenon. (Though depending on the topic, there’s usually plenty of adults commenting, too.)


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