You stare down, the knot in your stomach lurches, as if it's been yanked tighter. You feel the sweat beading on your brow. Your breath quickens, your pulse begins to race and you can feel your skin growing prickly as you are speared by hot needles of panic. You stare down at the message, the message you thought was flirty, the message that you thought was amusing - you didn't think it was going to secure you a date, but you thought at the very least it'd make them think you're funny. "It's just a joke, a fun joke." You had thought. But now, in the cold light of day, you realise your mistake.
You consider all the options. If this were the olden days, before online messaging services, and you had sent this by letter, you could simply have waited for the cloaking darkness of night and broken into their house, waited by the letterbox until morning and destroyed the letter as it was delivered before sneaking out again. Alternately you could have intercepted the post-man while he was doing his rounds that morning and, through that all too familiar mixture of bribery, coercion and desperation, implored them to hand you back the letter so that you may burn it. Truly, they were simpler times.
Staring down at the ill-advised and flaccid attempt at what could barely be described as 'a joke', it slowly dawns on you that your only reasonable course of action is to hurl your phone into the ocean, seek to change your name and appearance, through extensive plastic surgery, and begin a new life in some far flung corner of the world. Or at least that was your only option, until now (/the time when Facebook rolls out this feature for your phone in your geographic area)!
Facebook have announced that they are rolling out an 'unsend' option on messages sent in Messenger that will allow you to remove messages from a chat within 10 minutes of having sent them. There has existed for several years an option Facebook Messenger users to 'delete' messages, however, this would only delete the messages from the user end of the chat window but they would still be visible for the recipient.
The decision to introduce this feature comes after it was revealed last year that Mark Zuckerberg had been using executive powers to delete messages from private chats he'd been having on Facebook since 2010. Facebook announced that it would seek to roll out this feature for all users and, until then, would put a temporary hiatus on people in 'executive' positions being allowed access to features denied to the rest of the userbase. They have announced that the features are currently being rolled out for users, but have not set a date to say when they expect everyone to be able to avail of them.
Feel the relief wash over you, feel it flood your system as you realise that there is another option. You can simply unsend this message, this ill-advised joke. And so, you let your thumb rest on the text until it's highlighted, "Hey, do you need an ark built? 'Cos I Noah guy!" And you try select unsend - but your thumb slips and you end up accidentally putting a laughing face reaction to a previous message they'd sent informing you that their dog was ill. So, alas you end up having to throw your phone in the sea anyway and make an appointment into that cosmetic surgery clinic.