THE WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS BUTTON
I learned this the hard way.
Right next to the red button that the president uses to begin setting off an atomic bomb, there’s another one, innocently called SEND. Don’t be fooled. It’s not innocent.
I found this out the time I received an off-color book cover from my editor. The hue was awful, nothing like I’d agreed to. Here it was, my precious book, its background shade some kind of purplish tint when I’d agreed to a gorgeous blue.
Problem was, it was night. The artificial light made dark blue lean hard toward purple. The lateness also made my judgment lean dangerously toward stupid. Without much thought, I sent what was for me a “blast”—decrying the foreign printer, and somebody I can’t remember, and whoever else had a hand in turning my precious book . . . well, ugly.
The next morning I realized what I’d done. For starts, in daylight the book looked pretty good. And second, my disappointment had gone out unfiltered. But you can’t “unsend” a “send.” In effect, I’d insulted my editor, the book designer, and a whole lot of foreigners I can’t now name.
I’d done myself in.
Cutting to the chase, it took humble apologies, flowers, and a two-pound box of Sees Candy to partially undo the mess . . . if, in fact, the deed was in any way modified. Had this been a letter--not sent until the next day--I could have re-written it.
Too bad for all of us, Send is forever. There’s no second chance.
I hear there’s a computer program that puts a delay on that button. Well, hey, we all need it. Especially the guy that included me today in his blast of a girlfriend. He said all kinds of derogatory stuff, calling her names (practically a slut), describing her misdeeds in detail, spewing out that she wasn’t good enough for him. (Only to convince us, naturally, he wasn’t good enough for her.)
Twenty minutes later the guy sent a second e-mail, begging us in big letters not to read the first one. Which of course inspired EVERYONE to read it immediately.
I trust that fellow has now learned what all of us eventually figure out. First, that such a message to the world means he’s forever killed his chances with that woman. Humiliated publicly, she will never forgive him.
But second, he’s suddenly and permanently aware that the Send button is lethal. If he didn’t know it yesterday, today he does. The most dangerous button ever created is right there on his computer. One little tap and he’s had it . . . he’s wiped out . . . destroyed. And all he did, really, was type fast and furiously, committing his momentary anger to a screen, letting his venom carry the day.
And then, without further thought, he tapped the fatal button.
With that, “Send” finished him off.