It’s happened to all of us: We’ve accidentally sent a text or instant message to the wrong person. Unfortunately, this tends to happen when we’re typing something that the wrong person shouldn’t be reading — whether it’s because the text or instant message is actually about them, or because the text is somewhat explicit in nature.
If you have been on the receiving end of the wrong text, it’s often easy to hold this bit of data as blackmail — either to gain advantage over a sibling or for the rest of your career. Here at LockerGnome, we primarily communicate via Google Chat, and the other day I errantly messaged fellow staff writer Matt Ryan when I intended to IM my boyfriend — who I was chatting with in the tab next to Matt — instead.
Luckily, it wasn’t anything too embarrassing.
Many of you admitted you have sent much more embarrassing instant messages or texts to the wrong person. One LockerGnome reader is apparently just as bad about clicking the wrong tab as I am:
[I was] slagging my ex to a friend and sending it to him. [I] tried to say it wasn’t about him; it clearly was.
Another reader also made a similar mistake:
I sent a message accusing “the intended” person of possibly walking off with $100 and the person messaged me back with a message of innocence. After the third message, I looked at the name again and I turned red. I of course apologized and messaged the correct person and found the money.
Of course, many embarrassing IMs and texts are much more graphic in nature. “Tinjaw” said:
I once typed a graphically explicit statement to my girlfriend about what exactly I wanted to do to specific body parts in specific ways that used secret code words that would be “oh, so cute” to her in our very special way. Well, the secret code words weren’t so secret and the person I sent the message to was not my girlfriend, but the person above her in my IM buddy list.
Similarly, on Facebook, Ryan Trahan said:
I texted a dirty message to my mom once that was meant for a girl I was dating. That was my low point.
So how can you prevent sending an embarrassing text or IM to the wrong person? Be sure to always double-check who you are texting before you start typing, and triple-check before you hit send — especially if your message is confidential in nature. Typos happen (there is a reason that damnyouautocorrect.com exists, after all), but if your message gets in the wrong hands, it can easily affect your relationship or your career. And let’s not talk about what happens if your mom sees one of your embarrassing IMs — no matter how old you are.
Have you ever sent an embarrassing IM or text to the wrong person? Feel free to share your story in the comments below.