Have you ever sent a text and, five seconds later, totally regretted it? Of course you have; we're only human. In the stone ages, we had to suffer and face the consequences of our actions, but the On Second Thought app is here to help. The app lets you “unsend” texts, block them from sending after a certain hour, and more. The (texting) game has officially changed.
Maci Peterson, the co-founder and CEO of On Second Thought, told Black Enterprise, “I was drawn to tech because I had a solution to fix common mistakes in messaging. We’ve sent messages we needed to get back.”
In an interview with DocuSign, Peterson said that 71 percent of people have sent messages they want to take back, and 87 percent of people wished they had the ability to do it, according to a survey On Second Thought sponsored. With that information in mind, On Second Thought comes as a huge relief to the many, many people who need a little bit of assistance in their texting habits.
The app is really easy to use. First, download “On Second Thought SMS” in the Google Play Store. It’s not currently available in the Apple App Store. (Bummer, I know.) After downloading, go to the app's settings and set your “grace period.” The grace period is the amount of time you have to change your mind about a text you just sent; it goes up to 60 seconds. If you decide to unsend the message, simply swipe left and the would-be recipient will never know you texted them. It works even if the other person hasn’t downloaded the app.
The 60 second grace period is helpful, but sometimes you need a little more time to reevaluate what you should and should not say. The On Second Thought app has the “curfew” feature, which puts a moratorium on texts sent after a designated time.
Say you’re going out with your friends for a few drinks, and you know that your text messages become increasingly reckless with each Moscow Mule. You can suspend all your texts from that night until the next morning, review them, and determine if you still think sending them is a good idea. Sent your mom a message meant for your partner while your messages were on curfew? No problem. Crisis averted.
According to reporting from CMO.com, On Second Thought is in talks with mobile carriers that are interested in making “the ability to undo text messages a standard feature in your native messaging app.” When carriers embed On Second Thought into their servers, Android and iPhone users will be able to unsend messages.
Users who reviewed the app in the Google Play Store had many positive things to say about it. One user said, “Easy to use, and helps keep you from looking dumb, by enabling the user to correct a mistake before sending.” Another user said, “I downloaded the app for its sole purpose of delaying my messages from sending and it fulfills that perfectly." Another said, “I love this app. I needed to be able to delay my messages to not look like a fool by texting the wrong person.”
On Second Thought is definitely helping its 100,000 users not embarrass themselves, but Peterson told Black Enterprise she became a tech entrepreneur for a different reason. “Girls and women of color will be more attracted to the tech industry if they see women of color succeeding. My hope has always been that people will hear my story and think, ‘If Maci did it, I know I can too.’”
So if you’re one of the majority of folks who have frantically tried to unsend a text message, go ahead and download this free app. It might just save you from having some really awkward conversations.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article misstated the number of users of On Second Thought. It has been updated to more accurately reflect the number of users of the app.