My Prediction for 2015: “Delete This”

From today’s Boston Globe, my lighthearted prediction for 2015:

DELETE THIS

Thanks to an unshakable fear that their own gossip-laden e-mails (not to mention business strategies and classified documents) will be leaked to the world, the people of 2015 will finally decide that it may not be a good idea to have a copy of every message sent stored forever online. A new e-mail tagline will be popularized, stating: “In order to conserve our collective personal and professional reputations, we recommend you permanently delete this e-mail upon reading. Seriously.” The upside of all this ephemerality is that many more people will end up getting to “Inbox Zero,” causing a marked increase in the gross national happiness of the planet. Whether it is embracing iMessage and WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption features, or following the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s recommendation to use super-secret apps like SilentText, TextSecure, and ChatSecure, 2015 turns out to be the year that message encryption (and deletion!) goes mainstream. If you are under 21, this new year will validate your obsessive use of SnapChat as visionary and path-paving to your future career in national security or Hollywood.

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