Three simple rules to avoid screaming after you hit send

Three Simple Rules to Avoid Screaming After You Hit Send

Three simple rules to avoid screaming after you hit sendI was sitting at an airline gate when my iPhone beeped. It was a Direct Twitter Message from one of my team. I quickly texted a follow up message and hit send. I had just sent this personal message……. “Are you out of your mind! That may be the dumbest idea I have ever heard!” to the entire world.

At best, the mistake identified me as a novice and at worst a nut case! Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@kendavislive) know I do this on a fairly regular basis.

It’s not prudent or cool to notify the universe that your underwear has returned from the cleaners. So, if your wife sends you a Twitter message it’s better not to hit “send” unless you see her name at the top of your iPhone. If it says “Twitter” at the top, you are about to remind the cyber world that your “tightie whities” need professional cleaning.

So here are a couple of rules I am learning to follow. I hope they will keep you from entering the embarrassing twilight zone of accidental messages sent to the wrong people.

  1. Double and triple check before you hit send.
  2. When texting in message mode it is very easy to answer a Direct Message without putting a Direct Message address in front of the text.

    • So make sure you are texting and not Twittering
    • And make sure you are messaging the right person
  3. Don’t text or DM anything that you wouldn’t want the world to see.
  4. Odds are good someday you WILL make a mistake and they will see it. Keep it appropriate, be nice, and save sensitive material for a direct call. .

  5. Disable your phone from sending tweets to your text box.
  6. This almost always solves the problem.

If you see a tweet from me that say’s something like “Miss you and can hardly wait to put my arms around you,” please don’t sue me, or send your address or show up at my house. Just pray for my wife and the people who work with me.

That’s about it.

Got to go! There is someone at my door with a sign that says, “Saw your tweet, I need a hug.”

Am I alone? What is your cyber horror story?


  1. “Miss you and can hardly wait to put my arms around you,”
    Oh, that WASN’T meant for me?
    Then please delete my “I feel the same way” tweet.

  2. “Are you out of your mind! That may be the dumbest idea I have ever heard!” I’m kind of thinking this might be a really good message for me to read most days. Tells you something about me when you consider I might have favorited that tweet AND copied it into Evernote under things to “Journal” 🙂

  3. The same mistake, I have made many times with e-mail as well by clicking what would have been the perfect answer only during a moment of insanity and once I took the time to sanely look at wonder how God’s Grace could ever get me out of the hole I just dug and jumped into. Better put those in the draft box and reread tomorrow before sending. Also, be careful with the group message thing.

  4. I don’t tweet, but I have had many close calls with text messages. I won’t go into too much detail here, suffice it to say that my husband and my former boss have the same first name.

  5. It’s not so much hitting send that I have the problem, it’s allowing my texts to self correct spelling errors due to typos that has often gotten me in a bit of trouble from time to time. I once wrote “You had me at hello…” to my beloved but instead I was in a hurry and actually typed
    “You hatde me ar helmo”
    and what he received was
    “You Hate me at helmet…..
    review whatever the computer’s assumption of what you spelled before sending too

  6. A friend of mine sent out a text message to 6 different people about getting together on Skype for a ministry meeting and the first person he entered in hit group text was his best friend. Needless to say I was surprised later that day when I got a text from him saying “I’m pooping” all I could do was laugh and reply I’m not.
    He had meant to send it to his best friend as a joke and forget he was still using the group text.

  7. Oh dear. Can you please explain this one to my husband? And I’ll explain the “Miss you too Pookie Bear’ post I sent back to your wife!

  8. I have not made the mistakes you have made and I don’t go on twitter although I have a twitter account. I have sent text messages that are total gibberish because I did not read through them before sending and the voice text got what I was saying completely wrong.

  9. Too funny, Ken! Last summer I had meetings in Chicago for the day. My son lives in Chicago and we had been texting back and forth about meeting at a Starbucks. In the meantime, a tweet was delivered to my text box and I didn’t notice. My next “text” to my son was actually a Twitter to the world , “Take the brown line to Starbucks at the corner of XX Street and XX Street–11am.” When my son and I showed up at Starbucks at 11am, there were three of my friends from Moody Radio there. They thought I was announcing a “meet-up” so they decided to join in the fun! Oops!

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