In ancient times (20 years ago) to communicate the written word, we had to laboriously write the words with primitive instruments, take the time to put them in an envelope, address the envelope, spend some money to have the postman deliver it, then wait. You had ample time to consider your words and take them back if necessary.
Well, those days are gone. Whatever thought pops into our heads can be written and published for hundreds or even thousands of people to see. Once it’s out there, you can’t take it back. If they are controversial enough, someone has already made a copy and will use it against you in fantastic and wonderful and hurtful and humorous ways. Not that I would know anything about that, of course.
A psychologist (or someone with an IQ above freezing) would say that if you are going to publish an angry, emotional or otherwise scandalous missive, it’s best to wait two or more days before clicking the “send” button. During that time, our subconscious processes the information and can issue a little voice of warning of the implications. Some of us, not me of course, ignore that little voice.
If you are one of those who just have to push “send” or “post” or otherwise suffer from grammatical constipation, here are some cool tips that will help you avoid controversy. I can’t think if a time where I, a professional writer, would need these but you little people might--Wait, did that sound sarcastic instead or funny as I intended? Hmm . . .
Are you going out of town for a few days and still need to keep your audience engaged through Twitter or company Facebook posts? Or perhaps you just can’t resist the urge to post something but want your computer to temporarily hold the post as you ponder it? Check out hootsuite.com. Among many other things, you can type a slew of posts and pick a date and time to submit each one.
If you’re an Outlook user, type your email as usual then, before you send it, click on “Options” then “Delay Delivery” and follow the prompts.
There are various websites out there that will hold on to an email and send it days, weeks, months or even years in the future. Use it for those angry messages or as a convenient way to remind yourself of some future event. Check out Timecave.com for an example.
Of course, it would make much more sense to simply do it the old fashioned way and think about what you post before posting it. But some of us (not me of course) might need a little help to keep ourselves in line.