Essential Inventions: Email Filter

How I would love to have an email filter that prevented me from sending either drunken emails (I once cc’d an email in error to a very senior colleague, an email full of complaints about how he ran things and swear words that I sent at 2am) or ill thought out emails sent in the heat of the moment.

I recently had the pleasure of smirking at the email a colleague sent which he had signed “yours in anger”. It was really rather a silly way to end what was already rather a silly and too long email. I imagine he regrets sending it as it has not made him look very grown up or clever. Any email has the potential to come back and bite you in the bottom when you least expect it. I think there should be a time delay filter triggered by certain words (which can be set by me) that holds an email in my outbox for a few hours whilst I rethink what I have written.

In Girls, the sweet and heartbroken Charlie invents an app called “forbid” that prevents you contacting by either phone or email anyone you blacklist, you have to pay $10 to unlock their number. Genius plan for messy breakups, but not quite what I need to prevent dodgy emailing.

My opinion is that you shouldn’t put anything in writing that could harm you in any way if it became known to someone or even everyone that you know. The classic case occurring with an email that has “reply all” in the send box and not just your friend.

So, makers of NHS email and iPhone apps, please can you manufacture an app called “facesaver” or something for me that does the above? Cheers.

Charlie from Girls, inventor of the fictional Forbid app.


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