How To Recover From 5 Technology Blunders

Technology can be your best ally or worst enemy. How can you recover from an embarrassing or humiliating incident over e-mail, social networks, or the phone, or even avoid a tech mishap in the first place?
We all make mistakes, but a mistake delivered over technology can be a lasting one — even at times an “archived” one on the Internet that plays over and over again.  
If you’ve committed a technology sin, the best thing to do is repent. Here are some tips from etiquette experts on how to handle the fallout from some unintentional errors.

 Tech Mishap No. 1:
Forwarding the wrong document to a client
The Oops Moment: You forwarded an important, personal message to the wrong person.

The Recovery:This can be a very damaging mistake. Putting someone else’s private information in another’s hands can cost a friendship or land you in legal trouble. “Your best bet is to try to appeal to the humanity of the person who received your e-mail mistakenly,  Explain to them that they received a personal email that was intended for another person  and please destroy the email immediately.” You should also notify the other person about your mistake and apologize.

Also, watch for the auto-fill feature on most e-mail programs when sending messages. Your e-mail may save your contacts; when you begin to type a name, it may automatically input the e-mail address of a person to whom it assumes you intend to send the message.

Tech Mishap No. 2:
An embarrassing photo of you surfaces on Facebook
The Oops Moment: Thanks to Social Media, that photo of you after you’d had a bit too much to drink at a holiday party or otherwise acting inappropriate may someday come back to haunt you. Your friends can upload a photo and tag you, and voilà. There it is, for all your contacts to see.

The Recovery: In Facebook, you can untag yourself in a photo by bringing up the offending picture on your screen and then looking for the “report/remove tag” link to get your name removed from it. This at least will remove the photo immediately from your page. However, the picture will still be on the poster’s page and possibly even surface elsewhere on the Internet. Contact the person who tagged you in the photo. Call them on the phone to make the conversation more human and urgent, Ask them to remove the photo. Many people who tag you in photos think you’ll appreciate it and don’t realize you’d be hurt by it.

Avoid This Mistake: Facebook has security features so that you can choose a setting where you must approve all tagged photos of yourself prior to them appearing on your page. You’ll get notified as soon as someone tags you and can approve or disapprove it.

 
Tech Mishap No. 3:
Mistakenly hitting ‘Reply All’ to an e-mail message
The Oops Moment: You went to respond to a message with a sarcastic comment intended for only one other person’s eyes — a person with whom you may have a joking relationship. But you accidentally hit “reply all” to a group message. Now everyone sees your private message, and some may take offense.

The Recovery: Some people have lost their friends or jobs over this very scenario. Get on the phone if there’s anything in your message that could potentially hurt anyone’s feelings, apologize, and try to explain yourself.  Your top priority is to concentrate on repairing the damage from the person most hurt by your message. By having a voice conversation, you share your emotion, tone of voice, and energy in apologizing much better than an impersonal e-mail apology could ever communicate.

Tech Mishap No. 4:
Calling your client by the wrong name
The Oops Moment: When talking on the phone or sending an e-mail, you mistakenly call your client “Jim” when his name is really “Bob.”

The Recovery: Call the person back immediately — even if the mistake was made over e-mail. Voice-to-voice interaction on the phone makes the conversation human again.  Start the conversation jokingly as you laugh, like “Hello, Jim. I mean, Bob. You know what, you look so much like someone I know named Jim and I was just talking to him, and I had his name in my head. Please forgive me, Bob.”

Technology Mishap No. 5:
Inconsiderate phone use
The Oops Moment: Your phone rings, and you answer it while you’re out in a social gathering.

The Recovery:Tell the person on the other line that you’re unable to talk now  and that you will have to return their call when you’re finished. Apologize to your social gathering for the disruption.

Avoid This Mistake: Make it a point to not pick up the phone when you’re out with others.   If you do answer those calls, it makes them feel like their unimportant.  Let your phone go to voicemail when you’re out with others, and set your phone to vibrate so it won’t be distracting. Also, try to avoid other inconsiderate phone uses: Don’t call people back or take calls while waiting in line at Starbucks or while driving. The loud background noises may make it difficult for your friends to hear you and for you to hear them. (Tip: If you must use the phone when you’re out, use the “mute” feature on your phone whenever background noise gets too loud.)

Rudeness will tick people off faster than humiliation.  If you’re out with others and you’re getting text messages and respond to those text messages in front who you are with, it will probably not be well received.  There’s nothing people hate more than being ignored because of technology. It sends the message that you care more about your phone than the person sitting in front of you.

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