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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Stupid Messages Last Forever

Uploaded: Aug 31, 2010
Has anyone left a stupid message on a telephone answering machine and wished you could take it back? I've seen this plot in a sitcom, maybe it was Seinfeld, where someone left a stupid message and had to sneak into the recipient's house to retrieve the tape from the answering machine. Of course the new answering machines don't use tape but store messages in digital memory, so those of us leaving stupid messages would have to find a way to erase them.

There should be a code you can enter on someone else's answering machine to remove a carelessly left stupid message. In the last few weeks I've left messages I wish I could delete on phones of people I don't know or haven't met about people I don't know or haven't met. The only good thing about this is that my messages aren't likely to show up on TMZ or YouTube. It seems like celebrities do this all the time.

The last stupid message I left was about three weeks ago. After regretting it and not getting a call back from the person I left it for, I thought I would stop and think before I left anymore stupid messages, but noooo I just did it again.

A lot of stupid messages are left in blogs. I'm writing this one in MS Word so I can check my spelling and grammar so it won't look too stupid even if the message itself is stupid, but I've been reading Yahoo blogs, and it's amazing how dumb some of those discussions are.

Most blog software lets the writer remove or at least edit what he or she has written; so after you get "writer's remorse" there's still time to presumably fix it. Blogs also allow the writer to use an assumed name or remain anonymous, so nobody will know who wrote the last stupid comment.

I haven't been writing much in my San Ramon Observer blog. I have however been answering some of the other stories in the Express. I spent some time going over my answers, and I don't think any of them came off too stupid, but once you post a message, it cannot be removed or edited. So if I make any spelling errors, or say something I regret, I'm stuck with it for the rest of time.

I suppose archeologists and historians will have a field day with all of the messages, blogs, photos, videos, and stupid phone messages in years to come. We only have scraps of parchment from Biblical times, hieroglyphics from the Egyptian empire, scrolls from libraries in ancient Greece and Rome, and finally printed books and handwritten letters from the last 500 years.

But now, now we have everyone writing, saying, videoing, everything they are doing no matter how useful or stupid. So if you come across anything stupid I've said or done in the last year or two (or more), don't tell me. I already know.

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