No restraint in sending emotional emails? Try Gmail Goggles

It’s hard to believe that it was about 10 years ago I started using Google as a search engine. It was new, different, and just seemed to work. And I’ve never gone back. Then came Google mail, Gmail, where you at first had to have a cell phone number to set up your account. Gmail was different and took some getting used to for me, especially the format of the threaded messages. But I’m pretty much hooked on it.

There are features you may not know about in Gmail.

For instance, how many times have you sent an email, saying there was an attachment, but in your excitement to actually send it, you forgot to include the attachment. Ah yes, and then the apologetic email that followed, actually (maybe) attaching it finally. There is a Firefox add-on Better Gmail 2, that includes many enhancements to your Gmail, including a reminder that you forgot to include an attachment, if you mention the word attachment in your email. Pretty clever and very helpful.

But Gmail has gone beyond mere utility and begun to address basic human deficiencies. For instance, how about the times you’ve sent a rather hastily written or improper email? The next morning you really regret having sent that email, right? Well, instead of sending that email in the first place, why not have Google analyze your sobriety/saneness BEFORE you send it off?

A playful yet powerful optional setting in Gmail called Gmail Goggles, named affectionately after the study that determined people start looking better to each other once they’ve downed a few alcoholic beverages, does just that.

Gmail Goggles works by requiring the email sender to answer 5 math problems correctly and then only after that can an email be sent. You can choose the difficulty level. Oh, and you have a limited time to answer the questions. That way, you may not send that overly critical email to your instructor/boss/lover/whatever, and remain a respectable student/employee/lover/whatever. This email enhancer can also be scheduled to be active only on your “party” nights. This could be a potential life-saver for many people!

Here’s a picture of the screen that pops up before you can send your email:

Gmail Goggles

Gmail Goggles

To enable this feature in your Gmail, go to the Settings of your Gmail and then click the Lab tab. Scroll down the list and view the many enhancements you can enable on your email. (I really didn’t know about all of these, so don’t think I’m a genius or anything.) Included in the enhancements is an attachment notifier as well! You’ll see the Gmail Goggles feature, which you’ll need to enable. That’s it.

However, you DO have other options. For instance, you could practice some truisms, such as . . . never write anything to someone that you couldn’t say to their face. Or . . . count to 10 before you say something you regret. Or, sleep on it. But if you just don’t have that inner resolve or patience Gmail Goggles might come in handy.

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