Discard Means Delete, Right? (and other totally understandable points of confusion)
My first blog entry serves more as a warning than anything else. You should know.. I’m not always the savviest when it comes to technology. My greatest tech blunders have resulted when I'm sure I know what I’m doing, but I really have no clue. I guess that goes for all of my greatest life blunders as well.
For example, when I was 11 and found myself face-up on a ski slope with a concussion, it was because I was sure I knew how to do an advanced ski jump (even though I’d never even done an easy jump). It turns out I knew so little about ski jumping that I didn’t even know that you're supposed to land on your feet. Not your head. Or when I was five and found myself traveling 65 mph down the highway in the back seat of a car with the door wide open, it wasn’t because I like what a door-full of 65 mph wind does to my hair. It was because I thought I knew which lever controlled the window.
It’s now twenty years later, and not much has changed in this regard. But now, technology has seeped into our lives, giving me one more place in which I think I know what I’m doing, but decidedly do not. And thanks to the World Wide Web, there is a much wider network of innocent people I can take down with my blunders.
For example, when I was studying abroad in Chile during college, I managed to accidentally convince my parents that I was kidnapped in Argentina, because I thought I understood how email worked, when actually, I did not. If you’re wondering how anyone could do possibly do this, here’s the step-by-step:
How to convince your parents you’ve been kidnapped in Argentina without even trying
Step One: Tell your parents you are going to Argentina for the weekend with some friends, but give them no further information. Don’t tell them where you’re staying or who you’re going with. Don’t even tell them the name of the city you’re visiting. Let them guess the worst.
Step Two: Once you have arrived at your hostel in this unknown Argentinian city, wait until everyone’s broken into the cheap bottle of liquor they lugged all the way from Chile, then check your email. Open a message from a family member. In my case it was from my Dad (the least likely to be entertained by a practical joke), but any family member will do.
Step Three: When your drunk friend stumbles over to read your emails over your shoulder and writes inappropriate replies, don’t interfere. Let him write, “Hello. My name is José Shmosé. I’m your new son-in-law and I’m awesome.” Even let him press send! What’s the big deal? You can always press discard after the message is sent and it will just disappear from existence in one magical poof, right? (No, it will not. It will still go through.)
Step Four: Assume that clicking the discard button (after the message has already been sent) will stop it from going through. Then don’t check your email again for several days until you’re back in Chile. Side note-- You also have no phone while you are out of the country, so email is the only way your parents can contact you.
Step Five: Once back in Chile, brew a nice cup of tea, snuggle cozily into your bed, and calmly open your email to check in with family and friends. Then enjoy the 35 emails from your parents, all reading something like, “KATHARINE CALL US IMMEDIATELY!!! WHAT IS GOING ON???”
Step Six: Call your parents. Tell them that although you’re an idiot, you are, in fact, fine. Promise to keep them better informed going forward.
Step Seven: Don’t keep them better informed. Go back to Step One. Repeat.
Why am I telling you all this? Because as I enter the world of blogging, I’d just like everyone to be prepared for disasters such as this one. And if I ever accidentally post something that makes you think I was kidnapped in Argentina, for example, you can all breathe easy. Because I probably wasn’t.
Love Love Love,