Glenn Vanderburg

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The Cost of Convenience
Wed, 18 Sep 2002 (17:55) #
People are forwarding an email around the Internet, laughing about it. A lady hit "reply" when she meant to hit "forward," and wrote some rather unpleasant things to the wrong person. I find it hard to laugh, because I've made similar mistakes, and the only thing that saved me is that I happened to make those mistakes with innocuous messages.

Granted, in this case the lady reveals a particularly ugly side of herself. But one big lesson to be learned is that convenience comes with a price. Every time we make something easy, we also make certain kinds of mistakes much easier than they were before. In the days of writing letters, we had to write the name on the envelope ourselves, look up the address and write it, etc., even if we were replying directly to a letter we'd received. It was still possible to put two letters in the wrong envelopes, but it wasn't nearly as easy as it is today, when we can just click "reply" or "reply all" or "forward" and away it goes.

The next time someone shows you a dramatic new convenience, take time to think about what new kinds of mistakes you'll be making soon.