Why aren’t we allowed to ‘delete’ any more?

DeleteThere’s a new class of apps available to business professionals, allowing us to delete emails and other electronic media for good, rather than archiving them forever.

It’s an interesting concept; the ubiquitous nature of social media means that any inappropriate or unintentional communication can be beamed around the world in the blink of an eye, potentially ruining a company and a person’s career for good.

The ability for us to expunge those mistakes would seem to be a good thing. And for many a blessed relief. But there are those who would wish that people who’ve made a mistake should never recover.

Forget wearing a hairshirt for a couple of weeks, months or years – once you’ve committed that ‘sin’, that’s it, as Jon Ronson discovers as part of his article in The Guardian.

Unconscious mind

Most people – especially those in positions of responsibility – aspire to high standards and for the most part adhere to them.

But our brain doesn’t always work as we expect. Every one of us has a conscious and unconscious reaction to events that take place in our environment and, while the conscious reaction is the one that usually wins out, there are times when we’re under stress or simply emotional and the unconscious will win out.

This is why people shout when under pressure, say hurtful things during an argument or tell inappropriate jokes when they’re nervous (something I’m guilty of a lot). They’re not intentionally being offensive – we all do it because our unconscious brain tends to kick in.

Hopefully if everyone understood this, we could all begin to forgive AND forget.

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CC image: Ervins Strauhmanis via Flickr

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