We humans don’t always think it through before hitting send. We are also not always the model of sobriety during internet debates and squabbles. Even so, we usually are aware enough to know when we should have given it a little more thought before hitting “send.”
If you are a frequent Facebook Messenger user, you are about to get a genuinely useful feature. Mashable reports that “Facebook will give you 10 minutes to unsend that embarrassing message.”
“Facebook Messenger will soon roll out an unsend feature, which will give users a grand total of ten minutes to unsend a message, wiping it from your chat history. Facebook Messenger will soon roll out an unsend feature, which will give users a grand total of ten minutes to unsend a message, wiping it from your chat history. This will remove the message from the recipient’s inbox as well.”
There are a few caveats. First, you only have 10 minutes. That is not a lot of time, especially if you are somewhat impaired. And that 10 minutes only pertains if the recipient has not yet seen the message. Once the system registers the message as read, all bets are off.
Mashable pointed out that Mark Zuckerberg has a much more capable version of this feature. He can delete messages going back years from both his messages and yours. This is clearly something that is possible. You just have to be the CEO to enjoy that particular perk.
If you want to get a slightly better version of the feature, you can use another one of Facebook’s messaging properties, WhatsApp. There, you will be able to delete messages for over an hour from your box and that of the recipient.
Gmail was listed as yet another service that allows the sender to rethink and unsend. The difference is that a Gmail is not actually sent for the rethink time you select.
Apple Messages currently have no such feature. You can delete a message from your side of the conversation. But that has no bearing on the recipient. The same is true for Apple mail. It is easy to see why this would be a desirable feature, and it has nothing to do with levels of inebriation.
Autocorrect is far from an exact science. And many unfortunate messages have been sent without careful editing. In fact, carefully editing would somewhat defeat the purpose of instant messaging. That is why even 10 minutes can be the difference between keeping your job and searching the want ads.