Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Ten Second Rule

Recently, one rare momentous occasion of boredom saw me browning through the Gmail features. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, when I just hit upon a new feature. My eyes popped out of my head in astonishment at today's miraculous technology. Get this: Wit this all-new, one-of-a-kind feature, it is now possible to UNDO an email within ten seconds after hitting the "Send" button. Meaning, the computer will withhold your email, preventing it from getting into the recipients account for a full 10 seconds, giving you the chance to undo the action. 
10 seconds is a relatively short amount of time, and there isn't much one can do in  such a time span. But imagine if every word emitted from our mouths would be held in the air for a full 10 seconds before reaching the recipient. And within that time, one can just reach out his hand and take back what he said. Literally. 
Something tells me that there would be so much less understanding and regret if we had that power. To have the opportunity to stop, rethink and swallow our words before, like darts, they sharply hit their target, would be a most useful gift imaginable. 
I'm sure most of you have heard of the "Ten Second Rule." But for those of you that haven't, let me explain: 
Many a time, people will be found congregating together, laughing, and chatting, when somebody passes by that either sparks interest, gossip, or memory. As we humans go, were always more than glad to share whats on their mind's with others, greatly broadening their knowledge of the subject at hand. 
However, saying what's to be said with the subject within view and earshot is rude and rather audacious. So here is where the "Ten Second Rule" comes in handy: Before anyone opens their mouths, they first mentally count to ten to be sure the subject is not within earshot. 
This widely accepted rule is conveniently smart, but nasty. 
But, adding a twist to this rule may change that: for Ten Seconds, instead of impatiently holding in the words, trying to unsuccessfully calm the bubbling mouths, contain the babbling string of words about to be fired at the target, the "Ten Second Rule" can be used for one to STOP oneself from saying words deemed as slander. 
Yup! You got it! 10 seconds. such a short amount of time. But if It can be enough time to stop an email from reaching its destination, It can be enough to stop a word from leaving the mouth. And guess what? Those 10 seconds may save years worth of damage.