Yesterday at school my students and I read and discussed a recent article from the New York Times about the 'online disinhibition effect', otherwise known as 'flaming'. The article covered two topics; losing your inhibitions while in the anonymous virtual world of the net and sending emails and messages that are misinterpreted by their recipient because of the lack of visual clues that are present in face to face communications.
We talked about what could be done to solve the problem of misinterpreted messages; the article mentioned video e-mails. But we thought about adding another button on the menu... the REGRET button.
How often have you clicked on SEND and only moments later regretted it? The REGRET button would solve this. Just click on it and if your message was still unopened by the receiver it would be magically removed, but if it had already been opened an automatic response would be sent containing a polite message that would ask that the receiver disregard the previous message. Hmmm... it might work!