Welcome to part one of a new intermittently recurring series I’m going to be doodling with from now on. I’m calling the series the “Technology Commandments.” In short these are things you should be doing (or not doing) with technology. So sayeth the most holy Pentium chip. Or something like that.
I. Thou shall knowest and verily verify thou intended recipient when thousest dost forward emails. This dost include religiously employing your powers of observation when thine keyboard is suddenly possessed with the heavenly spirit of “auto-complete.”
Ctrl-F. That’s oh-so-easy. A little too easy. Of course when you forward an email the computer still asks you to specify a recipient. That’s probably the most important task of the humble human when forwarding emails. Who do you have in mind, eh? That space is intentionally left blank. So you tap out a character or two on your keyboard. Cue the sound of heavenly angels – that field just magically completed itself with the computer’s best guess of what you actually wanted.
You had better be paying attention! In that thar field thar be dragons!
The auto-complete feature in your email client just guessed the email address of someone you’ve written to in the past. That’s how someone’s email shows up in that recipient box in the first place. Presumably this is someone you probably know.
Are you watching? Are you paying attention? Or are you about to click SEND and pass along your private thoughts to the wrong person. That can have disastrous results. This isn’t like driving. For once you had better stay focused.
Thus sayeth the Pentium.
How about YOU? Do you have any stories of forwarding something inappropriate to the wrong person? Be open and honest about it and share with us in the Comments section below. Don’t worry – we promise to point and laugh.
In the next reading: Thou shall covet many passwords.
I haven’t made the auto-complete error, but I’ve accidentally clicked Reply All many times with embarrasing results.
A high level person in my organization retired. During his time he made life not fun for my wife and I. He retired and an email was sent announcing a chance to celebrate his retirement with him. I hit reply and knocked out about 500 words on why I would never ever attend such an event. They were 500 salty and unflattering words about said boss intended for one person, Mrs. O. The moment I hit send, I realized I’d not typed in her address and that meant I’d hit reply, not forward.
Thank god it was Sunday, in the days before blackberry, and there were instructions on how to recall unread email sent within our system