“Oh no, I didn’t send that e-mail, did I?”

Reprint from First Monday magazine (Nov. 08 Issue)

“Oh no, I didn’t send that e-mail, did I?”

by Gregory West

Are you terrified of waking up Sunday morning wondering whether or not you SENT that terrible, demeaning e-mail to your boss or ex-girlfriend?

Most of us have sent out an e-mail wishing we hadn’t. Albeit, some e-mails are fired out  after all-too-many drinks, late Friday and Saturday nights. Those people using only find out after the fact or on Monday morning as they are given their walking papers at work.


The e-mail was sent to their boss explaining how they would run the company better didn’t go over very well. Nor did the e-mail sent to an ex, announcing that you still love her, fly very well with the new spouse who happens to read all mail.

If you fall into this group of “tipsy” weekend e-mailers, be assured that help is only a few clicks away. Those who are over the “e-mailing normal sending limit” are now safe from themselves. There is a new application within Google’s Gmail program called: “Mail Goggles” that protects you from sending out regrettable e-mails.

Time writer, Claire Suddath, gave Goggles a test run and concluded, after several drinks, that “As a purely dissuasive tool, then, Mail Goggles works as advertised.” (www.time.com)

Goggles is a application program within Gmail that blocks you from sending those “RED Hot” e-mails to your boss or ex-girlfriend.

It works like this…

Late Friday or Saturday evening, after you have kicked back and downed a few “cold ones”, just maybe you should not be online sending e-mails to everyone on your list. You may just live to regret pushing that SEND button.

Therefore, before you can SEND that damaging e-mail out to your boss or ex, Goggles pops up with math problems for you to solve. It you cannot solve these tasks in 60 seconds the program will not allow you to send an e-mail.

Of course, as you awake in the morning, terrified, you dash to the computer and it is still running. Your heart dives down into your stomach and then lands in your throat as you try to remember if you actually sent any e-mails last night…You look, and there it is: The damaging e-mail still in your DRAFT e-mail box, unsent.

Test drive this new Google program and see how you can protect yourself from yourself.  You will need an account with Google and must be using Gmail in order to get this program. For a Gmail account: http://tinyurl.com/5ccs5f then go to http://tinyurl.com/4vf5ek to see how to set it up. If nothing else it could serve as a fun test at your next late night party.

Thank you Google Goggles, you may just be our Sunday morning salvation.


Gregory West can be reached at editor@scug.ca. Gregory is the Editor for the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group [SCUG], a non-profit computer help group that is open to the public for Newbies and Geeks. For more information: http://www.scug.ca.

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