For years, I’ve warned students in email classes to beware the send button. I tell them that if you’re angry, shut down your email. It is much easier to type something in anger and hit send than it is to repair the damage it can cause.
There are times I haven’t followed my own advice.
With the advent of smartphones, that message is even more important. Beware the send button. Don’t get frustrated at someone and quickly bang out a message. You don’t know where or when the receiver will read it and what their frame of mind will be.
Last night, I made the mistake of checking email after an 11 hour marathon family day and time on the road. There was the message from a friend, typed in frustration, on a so-called smartphone. Exhausted and tired is not a constructive frame of reference to read “those” emails.
It also applies to text. Once, a friend of mine asked a plumber for help. Afterwards, he accidently texted her instead of someone else and called her a “stupid b*tch.” Guess who hired a new plumber after the fact.
Bottom line: just because a phone is smart doesn’t mean everything you do with it is smart too. Beware the send button. If you’re mad, turn off the phone and wait till you cool down.
You never know the damage you can do or the feelings you can hurt with that simple word, “send.”
My resolution after last night is to do a better job of monitoring my own sends. What do you do to avoid sending the toxic text or irate email when you’re angry?