If you’ve never sent a private email to the wrong person’s email address, you’ve lucked out. According to the Associated Press, 500 IT security decision makers in the U.S. revealed that 44% of executives believe employees have erroneously exposed personally identifiable information (PII) or business-sensitive information on company email.
Sometimes sending an email to the wrong person can be resolved with a simple “Oops, my bad.” Other times it will be the cause of your company losing a $5 million account for mouthing off about clients.
No matter how many tech tips encourage texters, email senders or social media users to take a beat before sending a a message (whether it’s to check the recipients’ contact information for typos, to proofread the message again, to avoid misinformation or potential misunderstandings over tone), tech mistakes still happen every day. We’re only human.
This is why so many email accounts have an “undo send” option, including Gmail, AOL and Outlook. (Yahoo! does not offer this option.)
However, the likelihood of someone purposely sending a career-killing email is slim to none. And even if the erroneous message went to family or friends, that next birthday party, family reunion or group Zoom call is about to be awkward. If given the chance, the sender would have much rather had the option to rewind a few minutes of their time.
And social media platform Twitter feels our pain. The messaging platform is reportedly testing out an “undo” tweet option. As opposed to trying to scramble to delete a live social media post, which can too easily be vulnerable to users taking screenshots of the post (ask Captain America’s Chris Evans what happened on Instagram), the “undo” tweet feature would allow people to have a brief window of time before it would go live.
While some Twitter users are still frustrated that CEO Jack Dorsey keeps (allegedly) ignoring their request for an “edit” tweet feature instead, others may understand why. On social media platforms like Facebook or blog platforms like Medium, users can edit their posts after they’ve been shared publicly. But what if followers or unique users “liked” or “retweeted” the social media post or comment when it said one thing, then the user edits the comment and says something they don’t like? It can too easily be misconstrued without users keeping tabs on whatever the original comment was versus the edited version.
So is the “undo” tweet option a happy medium? It remains to be seen. Jack hasn’t released this new feature to the public yet. In the meantime, take the advice of Gmail. Wait 30 seconds before you send a text, email or social media post. You may find something in it that you definitely did not mean to say.