A few months ago, I was asked to write an article for our newspaper. I quickly agreed, found a great subject, and started. The article deadline was for a time when I had planned a trip, so I knew I would have to submit early. I wrote the article and had it ready to submit a week early. Since the article concerned the activities at our local congregation, I decided to seek some validation from others members of the church.

I chose four people and sent the article to them along with a note describing how I needed their feedback so that I would not misrepresent the church in any manner. I had two days until I left. No feedback on the first day. By noon the second day, I finally heard my phone “chime” that I had a message. Eagerly, I opened the e-mail files and saw that indeed I had a mail from one of my reviewer friends.

I slid the icon along and opened the mail. I saw some kind of encrypted gobbledy-goo. There were several links and lots of words about security.

Hmmm … I pressed on the link to open the message. I thought, “Wow, he must have had lots of corrections or comments to make on the article.”

I was anxious to see what he said.

The little circle on the top of the phone circled and circled. Finally the file opened and there was a red line shaped like an envelope with another link in it. I pressed the link and was asked to open an account. I did not want to open an account. I wanted to read his message! I thought I had done it wrong so I started over. Same results! Imagine that.

I decided to wait until I got home to the regular computer and open the mail from there. I was convinced that the weird security alert was a phone thing. I booted up my computer and got the mail program open.

Yikes! Same security hoopla.

This time I thought, “There must be several corrections. I hope I have time to get it all done before I leave.”

The red-line image of the envelope was on my screen. I clicked on the link and was asked to join a security account. With a huff, I entered all of my information and was then told that I would receive a code to open the envelope through my own email system.

Good grief! This was getting old.

I waited and waited. Finally I saw a new message “bing” on my page. I opened it. Copied and pasted the code, said a few choice words about security systems and went back to the original mail.

By now I was thinking, “This had better be a good message!” I entered the code and a new page loaded. At first I thought I had made a mistake. I had loaded a blank page. But then, in tiny 6-point font, at the top of the page was my message.

“Good Job.”

Whhhaaatttt? That’s it? Good Job! With all of the security measures, I was expecting a volume with catty comments and instructive verbiage. After all, I spent nearly an hour joining a security alert system to open this page.

Ahhhh…isn’t technology wonderful. Our kindest words are protected and available only to those persistent enough to open the mail. Thank you Kenny!

Fawn Musick is a Princeton Times columnist, a mom and a blogger. Read more of her work, or contact her at http://fawnmusick.com.

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