n. also mailsturbation, forwarditis.
The tendency of an estranged or newly-but-not-necessarily-intentionally-acquired colleague, school chum, friend or family member to send every cute, multiply-forwarded message about care bears, conspiracy theories, scandalous photos, religious views, politics, cheesy poetry, rude jokes, or people-famous-for-being-famous to you and about a hundred other 'close friends' you don't know in a note without personal explanation other than something bland like "Cute!" or "You'll like this!". Subject headings are often all caps with multiple exclamation points, prefixed with varying numbers of "Fw:" and "Re:". Often, the actual content being referred to is multiple forwarded emails deep, forcing the recipient to have to dig through other people's comments and a slew of similarly unfamiliar email addresses, along with their impersonal comments like "Oh, gross!", or "What would your mother say?", etc. Generally this happens when the sender feels he or she is not properly communicating with said friends, family, colleagues, etc., and feels compelled to at least appear to be "making the effort to communicate". This ostensibly gives the sender a modicum of relieved self-satisfaction and puts the onus to communicate back on the recipient, but in reality only further alienates the sender from all recipients and ends up not being satisfactory to anyone. If the sender does not at some point come to the realization that sending unpreambled forwards amounts to spam that doesn't even lead to self-satistfaction, it is hopeful that a true friend or valued family member will put the sender back on the path to better communication by asking them to stop the nonsense. Replying to just such a letter with a link to this particular definition might suffice in making such a friend come to his or her senses.
n. emailsturbator - someone you know who sends you useless forwarded email.
v. emailsturbate - intransitive - "to emailsturbate on" (a friend, family member, a group of people) - to forward a useless previously-forwarded email to everyone in your address book.
"He's retired, widowed, and now resorts to emailsturbation on his old school chums to fill the empty minutes of his life."
Tom: "I and about thirty people I don't know just got emailsturbated on by Joe about some alien whacko conspiracy theory."
Cho: "Dude, I feel for you... Freaking mailsturbators..."