We’ve probably all been guilty of a social media faux pas at one point or another. Whether it was accidentally posting a sexy private message as a wall post or tagging a co-worker in a super-embarrassing photo, social media blunders happen to us and because of us all the time.
Recently, one woman felt the dire panic that comes right after you realize you’ve accidentally sent something terribly personal to the absolute wrong person. She was trying to send a sexy topless photo of herself to a love interest, but instead sent it to her boss. Cue the “ahhhhhhs”!
This woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous (for good reason), was using Snapchat to send this tantalizing picture — the photo-centric app that is predominantly used by millennials. The hook to Snapchat is that every photo or video you send appears to the receiver for only a few seconds, after which point it disappears into the ether. So you probably wouldn’t think twice about sending anything incriminating, because the evidence is gone before you have a chance to blink.
Snapchat is the third most popular app among millennials, according to Business Insider, and the fleetingness of it is the main reason. This age group likes imagery and to communicate quickly, and Snapchat combines these two concepts in one easy-to-use device. One millennial told Business Insider, “I like a social network that treats content as disposable. Snapchat is in the headspace of our generation.” Many use it to quickly show friends what they’re up to, or in the case of this woman who sent the topless photo to her boss, what her boyfriend would be missing.
— DJ Todd (@djtodd1) September 30, 2015
I’m sure that’s not what her boss expected to get when he asked her what her plans were for the weekend. I’m also sure she almost had a heart attack when she realized to whom her sexy message actually went. However, she probably never expected to receive the handwritten message her boss sent in reply. While many bosses might use this social media blunder as a reason to fire an employee, this woman’s boss was much more understanding.
Not only did he let her off the hook, but he responded in kind with another Snapchat picture, showing that he’s down with the method of communication the kids are using these days. He wrote in red pen: “—hi, you probably did not mean to send this to me, but please be more careful. I am your boss.” Now, yes, he did absolve her for the salacious photo and recognized it was a mistake, but the message is also clearly a warning. He wrote it in red pen, which anyone who’s been through high school knows means “error,” and underlined the word “boss.” Underlining anything says to me, “I mean business, and don’t make this mistake again, or there will be consequences.”
Anonymous woman was lucky this time, but the fact that her topless photo has now gone viral proves that Snapchat photos are not as “disposable” as millennials might otherwise think. According to a study conducted at the University of Washington, while only 14 percent of their 127 Snapchat user volunteers have sent Snapchat sexts, 53 percent have had people take screenshots of their sent photos.
So it just goes to show, nothing you put out into the social media world is truly erasable. It’s always best to think twice before sending anything you might regret coming back to you on the cover of a media outlet.