What We Can Learn From Google's Brief But Painful Mic Drop Fail
It might be April Fools' Day, but the Internet was not having Google's 2016 April Fools' Day Prank.
Yesterday the tech company introduced a new "Mic Drop" feature in honor of April Fool's Day. Like everyone else, If you're ever tired of getting stuck on email chains that just want out of, it probably seemed like a harmless idea. Oh how very wrong we were.
It Started Simple
By simply clicking the yellow "Mic Drop" send button located right next to the normal blue send button, you can end those annoying chains and never hear from them again. Plus, just to show you mean business with your sassiness, a Minion GIF doing said action shows up in your reply.
But Then People Happened
Unfortunately, Google made a poor assumption that people actually pay attention to updates on a regular basis. The majority of the Millennial Internet -- yes, myself included -- discovered the feature by simply clicking the new yellow send button without actually knowing what it does.
Yes, it was right next to the regular send button and had some crazy picture on it, but who has to time pay attention to such trivial things in emails, right? We're the multitasking generation who never really has their full attention on one thing at a time in the first place.
Well, after clicking the yellow button to meet a deadline for work I happened to look it up. Then I spent the next 10 minutes re-writing my email with the attachment, apologized about the GIF to my boss, and explained how I wouldn't get responses on that chain. Things worked out OK for me, but others were not quite as fortunate.
Users took to Twitter with their frustration of using the feature to respond to potential jobs and bosses who weren't as nice as mine. Some even mentioned that the GIF was being sent when pressing the normal send button as well. Even though Gmail apologized and disabled the yellow button from hell, there will probably still be some lingering anxiety over email flow today.
A Lesson For All of Us
Google isn't the only one to learn a lesson through this crazy backfire. There are a few things that us in the workaholic class can take away too.
Notification Desensitization: Looking back, I remember seeing some sort of notification on the task bar with a call to action explaining some random new feature, which happened to be Mic Drop.
I quickly closed it and went back to my life because I was busy getting stuff done. We're so bombarded with ads and app updates, that it's just customary to ignore them, but clearly this prank shows that we can't afford to do that.
We either have to start paying attention to our notifications more, which will probably last in practice for about a week, or we stop being so reliant on one form of digital communication in the workplace. Following up with a text or a good old fashion phone call might seem like you're being a pest, but people will appreciate you covering your bases.
We're All Human: At the end of the day, people are going to make mistakes, even those that hire some of the smartest people in the world. Sometimes trying to bring a little humanity through tech doesn't turn out as planned. Did "Ex Machina" teach us nothing? Then there are the other times when we just have the curse of big thumbs on small screens.
April Fools' Day Just Isn't Fun Anymore: There was a time when pranks were a fun way to see others creativity and break up the rut winter routines can put us in. The more time passes, the less funny this holiday can be.
People are trying so hard to make a cleaver spectacle of their ideas that it's pretty common for us overlook the consequences. When you have responsibilities, rent and enough drama for the next Netflix Original Series, it just doesn't make sense to add to that with more anxiety. Just keep the jokes simple, and find another creative outlet to change things up.
Overall, the world is not going to end because of the Google Mic Drop fiasco of 2016, but maybe we can be a little more mindful because of it.