We’ve all done it. Pressed SEND and then felt the cold prickle of regret wind up our spine. But you can’t get it back. It’s gone. It’s been SENT.
If you were starring in a movie, (and let’s face it, we all are in our own way, right?) you’d have the option of tracking down the mail carrier and bribing her to rip the letter up. Or you would give the receptionist his favorite sweet treat and surreptitiously slide the envelope out of the stack of incoming mail. If you’d left a regrettable telephone message, then movie you would break in and erase it from the machine. You know the type of movie I’m talking about. Those movies are now dated. They are from the pre ‘online-all-the-time’ era. OLD movies.
New movies will have to change the post-SEND angst to a different point of the regret timeline. Somewhere between the pressing SEND and the message actually reaching the recipient’s inbox, there needs to be a way to scramble around and freak out. Are we talking a millisecond here? (Paging all geeks, we need to know the time it takes to SEND an email, and don’t tell me it’s instantaneous.) There needs to be some hope it can be retracted; some time to flail about in regret… and then there you have it- the stakes of your whole movie.
Why is gregorific landing on this topic?
Because of the recent panic over supposed ebook piracy which set one online lending site out of legitimate business. With the power of social media at our fingertips, we must think before we SEND.
In this particular case, a bit of research about the lending site would have helped a person understand that it was connecting people interested in lending already purchased ebooks; not helping people steal them. The situation with Lendink also emphasizes the importance of fully understanding your contract with epublishers. Many e-authors really didn’t know their books could be lent in this manner and their upset could have been avoided if they had understood that part of their contract.
I have been trying to figure out how to lend the ebooks I have bought for my ipad/kindle. If I can’t loan e-versions, I will stick to buying paper and ink. I mentioned this in my last two posts when I was espousing the virtues of the printed book. After checking to see if my ebooks are lending enabled, I was on the verge of using Lendink. Until it was put out of business by waves of online outrage.
This can happen in any instance. (Think: parenting, politics, rumors, boycotts.) Being quick to pull the trigger is almost never a good strategy. Especially with social media because we are bridging new territory. For your own self protection, you must look before you leap (or post, or press SEND, or epublish.)
If you don’t understand something, the glorious thing is that you can easily find out what you need to know online. It’s easy to find the information if you look with a discerning eye. It’s also easy to find someone else panicking and band together to find even more chaos. Be careful and save your righteous outrage for the real deal. Take your time. If you are being wronged then you will want to carefully consider your response/reaction.
Your typed words are there forever once you press SEND. You can’t throw it in the fire, spill ink across the page, or pretend you never said it. It’s out there.
So, take it from gregorific, but a baby to the complex techisphere:
Look before you press SEND.