Yesterday, I sent an email in which I had written a list.
Dear Person, Below, I’ve included….
And a little pop-up from Google arose to say,
“Warning: You’ve written ‘I’ve included’ but you haven’t attached any attachments. Did you forget to add them?“
At first I was annoyed that Google didn’t have enough vision or perspective to either a) realize that it was possible to include things in an email that weren’t attachments and that b) Google hadn’t read the rest of my email and learned that I’d included everything I needed.
Then I realized: Google read my email.
I know. It’s automated. But, the data, or the algorithm, or the coding or whatever, is recorded. And someone, somewhere (probably in Palo Alto) knows how to read it.
Plus, it’s not as though “I’ve included” means the same thing as “I’ve attached.” That means that Google has been reading my email, and everyone else’s, for a while, and determined that frequently, people who add attachments write, “I’ve included.”
Call me crazy, but I found this somewhat horrifying. I mean, Big Brother is seriously watching! I’m sure this is one of the things that Google has deluded themselves into thinking is an added benefit of Gmail. And I guess technically it is. Sending emails and forgetting to add attachments is embarrassing. But still, I thought, give us privacy! Let us make our mistakes!! After all, I thought, mistakes are human! They help us grow!
I was on a vendetta for about 24 hours, until I actually made a mistake. Of course, as we all know, mistakes are great..until you make one. For example, sending an email invite to a party and making a joke about BCCing on the invite…but not BCCing…which I did today.* Immediately I changed my tune.
Furiously, I thought, Come on, Google! Where was the little pop-up that said, “You claim to have used BCC but you didn’t?” I guess they’re not reading as closely as I thought, which is kind of a bummer. I mean, if wanted to feel like I was screaming into the abyss, I’d go on Facebook.
*I also misspelled the word “oops” in the subject line. Yeah, I know…