It’s late, you’ve just gotten out of a vigorous, cocktail-fueled round of validation with your friends (“There’s nothing wrong with you, he’s just immature!”) and you’re feeling communicative. A few bleep blop taps of the phone later and you’ve just sent a direct message on Twitter to that guy you were sorta seeing saying things you instantly regret. All is not lost, however.
Unlike many common email programs we all use, say, Gmail, you can unsend direct messages on Twitter, and it doesn’t even take any technological trickery or complicated wrangling of the system.
Our observant, helping-us-to-save-face friends at CNET point out that all you need to do is simply delete the message from your outbox. If the recipient hasn’t opened it yet, you can consider the message basically unsent. It never happened! You never told your ex that his avatar is stupid and he’s so incredibly full of himself it’s a wonder he has any followers!
It’s easy to erase what you wish had never been typed into existence: On your Twitter account on the web, click the gear icon and navigate to direct messages. Find the one you want to destroy and click on the trash can. Adios.
Now, if the recipient has other notifications that tell him or her that a direct message has arrived, even without opening it that person might have read its contents. So it’s not a guarantee, but it’s better than an email or text that is out of your hands once the “send” button clicks home.
The fun part is even if they do get a chance to read it, if you delete it on your end it will still disappear. So at least there won’t be actual proof that you said those things you said but regret saying. It works the other way, too — if you get a message you want to pretend never existed, you can delete it and it will be gone from the sender’s outbox as well.
Today we learned that deletion can be bliss. Not that you would ever send a message you wish you hadn’t. Ahem.