Google’s Goggles

by Mollie Wells

It’s been the buzz of the blogosphere for the past few weeks, but Mail Goggles–Google’s experimental anti-drunk-email service–yesterday got some major-media lip service via a New York Times article that touts it as an answer to the wee-hour drunken email problem they call a scourge that few knew existed. And by few, they must mean pretty much everyone but us. But I digress.

Here’s the skinny, if you don’t already know: between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., the Gmail-based Mail Goggles will give you 60 seconds to solve a series of math problems before allowing you to send an email. Ostensibly, the idea is that if you can’t figure out basic math, you’re way too wasted to be communicating on any level at all, and the minute-long math break gives you a moment to rethink whatever it is you were planning to say.

In a lot of respects, this is totally awesome. I mean, let’s be serious: we’ve all had the unfortunate experience of having to explain away a message written way too many beers into the night. And it for sure helps guard against drunken work emails and rambling missives to long-lost lovers who really, really need to stay long-lost. But those particular hook-ups that tend to make life unpleasant in the short (and sometimes really long) term? Yeah, you’re not safe there. It strikes me fairly likely that if a girl or guy is ready to jump in the sack with someone, they’re not sending an email. They’re texting, they’re calling, they’re just showing up. And while that sort of thing isn’t always the proverbial Life-Ruining Bad Idea, it definitely can and definitely has resulted in situations you simply do not want to be in. Especially when you’re drunk.

So major kudos to Google for creating a cool little program that helps you A) not get fired, B) not lose friends and C) brush up on your math skillz. But if you’re looking for something to help you get through the night sans experience-your-parents-warned-you-about, it’s probably better to just not store certain numbers in your phone. Ever.

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