You can wipe out that embarrassing text from last night faster than the hangover from this morning, thanks to a smartphone application that is able to delete messages from the sender’s and receiver’s phones.
TigerText allows the sender to determine the “lifespan” of their text messages, according to apple.com. Once the time limit the sender has set for the message has expired, there is no trace of the message left on either phone or the application’s server.
Messages can be set to vanish once the recipient has read them or be deleted after a certain period of time, according to the application’s website.
The application, with the slogan “cover your tracks,” is available for iPhones, with a beta version for BlackBerrys and another version pending for Android devices, according to its site.
Alexis Jackson, a College of General Studies freshman, said though she likes the idea of TigerText, she feels that it lowers the responsibility people should have for what they’ve written.
“It’s going to make people on the gossip line less accountable, and if someone says that a person sent them something with no proof, it’s hearsay,” she said. “Now, people can say whatever they want and not be traced.”
TigerText will embolden people to say things that they might not normally say, said mass communication professor John Carroll.
“It will open up possibilities and people will text more extreme things since it can be obliterated after it lands,” he said. “[The application] is designed to protect yourself from yourself.”
Carroll also said people are not always aware of the digital trail they leave with emails and text messages, and an application like TigerText may make people more conscious of what they type.
“People take technology for granted,” he said. “These things live on in cyberspace forever.”
College of Arts and Science freshman Laura Brush, an iPhone user, said she think the device will encourage users to hide incriminating texts. Several news sources have pegged it as the ideal tool for cheating spouses and job-hunting employees.
“I don’t think I need it,” Brush said, but admitted she liked the capability to delete messages from both phones, rather than just the sender’s.
The application may make people more comfortable sending confidential or sensitive text messages, Brush said, especially if the text involves other people.
“The application is worthwhile as far as protecting people, and it seems that is the primary purpose of application,” she said. “You don’t want someone else to see it at all costs.”
Jeanette Beaute, a Metropolitan College freshman, said she believes the application’s use as an organizational tool will have a positive effect on communication.
“Since it will automatically delete once the sender sets a time limit on it, you don’t have to continuously think about the message,” she said. “I think it’ll become popular over time.”