Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mail Goggles Might Prevent Email Regrets

If you're the kind of person who types tipsy and regrets it in the morning, Google's "Mail Goggles," a new test-phase feature in the free Gmail service, might save you some angst.

The Goggles can kick in late at night on weekends. The feature requires you to solve a few easy math problems in short order before hitting "send." If your logical thinking skills are intact, Google is betting you're sober enough to work out the repercussions of sending that screed you just drafted.

And if you can't multiply two times five, you'll probably thank Google in the morning.

[Y]ou can set up Mail Goggles to protect you from yourself at other emotionally vulnerable times — before your morning coffee, for example, or right after "Grey's Anatomy."

Once enabled, you can adjust when Mail Goggles is active in Settings.

I understand why relying on a computer program to pinch hit for someone's lack of common sense, foresight, and discretion is attractive in this, our godforsaken 21st century, but I also think of it as another notch in the belt of the infantilization of our culture.

Have a program take care of your drunken, slobbery lack of self control, and pretty soon you won't be able to control yourself when you're just in need of coffee or the traffic was bad on the way to work. And if you're so damaged you write shitty emails while at the same time forgetting simple math, you need consequences just so you can learn from them, and maybe gain some self-respect, you big baby!

Hey, I'm not all fascist, pull yourself up by your bootstraps bitch about this. I recognize that people are human, not machines. Part of being human is about making mistakes and forgiveness. So what if you send the occasional less than wonderful email when you're vulnerable? But, on the same token, being human is also about weeding out folks in your life who are perpetually less than wonderful. I need the rash and unfiltered populace as my yardstick!

Anyway, please, people, take some responsibility for yourselves. Man up!

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