If anyone is old enough to remember MySpace (anyone? anyone at all?) you might recall there was one day that will live in infamy when a glitch on the site made it possible for everyone whose profile you had been checking out in secret to see that you'd been visiting their page. In other words, you became exposed as a bona fide stalker. Oh, it was chilling and awful and those of us who lived through it spent hours concocting ridiculous excuses we could have on hand in case we were called out by our "stalkees." Well, instead of learning from this nightmare, Google's Gmail has decided to add a feature that will strip us of our privacy just a teeny bit more. And it's bound to affect us in at least 3 horrible ways.
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Know how you have to click on a "display images" link when you receive an email with photos embedded in it? Well, the good news is that you'll no longer have to do that. Photos will simply pop up when you open a message. Here's the bad news: anyone who sends you that type of Gmail message will be able to check and see if you've opened it.
Wave bye-bye to your procrastinating tendencies because you're about to be exposed!
Thankfully, there is a way to turn off this feature and I will try my hardest to remember to do so because here are 3 ways it will suck big-time if others can track when you've opened their message:
1. Friends or family who send you annoying chain letters/emails about angels will know you have zero interest in these and will figure out you've been pretending all along to open them. I guess you could just open them and quickly click out -- but it's still super annoying to have to do so.
2. You'll be exposed as the procrastinator you are when friends see you've opened their email but haven't responded to an invite or question for two hours. Most aren't going to be understanding of your need to ruminate before responding..or of your desire to check your calendar and see if you have anything better to do that day.
3. You'll be exposed as a person who actually edits her emails before sending them out, which is completely uncool in a world where people use "u" and "2" to replace actual words.
It's already so easy to feel overexposed when you're using social media sites -- let's hope this trend doesn't bleed over even more into email.
Would you mind if others could see that you've opened or haven't opened their emails?
Image via Mike Licht/Flickr