Bye bye, everyone. It's time to quit the Internet.
There's a Google Chrome extension called Streak that, when installed, lets you see when someone has read an email you sent. You know what this means? It means other people can use Streak and see that you have opened their email without responding.
We're all doomed.
An email recipient doesn't have to have the plugin installed in order for the sender to be notified that it was opened. The recipient won't get any notification that you're tracking your emails, either. It's all very secretive.
The plugin is free and easy to install. Once you download it and give it access to your Gmail account, it will start automatically start tracking your outgoing messages.
Here's what an email looks like after you've sent it. You'll see this little box to the top-right of a sent and unopened email:
Here's what you'll see once someone opens the email:
If you send an email to multiple people, Streak will tell you how many people have viewed it, but won't necessarily reveal their identities:
Streak does a lot of other useful stuff, too. It's built as a tool for customer relationship management, and it can do things like schedule emails in advance. Streak has been around since 2012, but the read receipt feature was added in November.
Do read receipts sound familiar? They should, since they are a big part of BlackBerry's messaging service, BBM, and have been making people crazy for years. You can also enable read receipts in iMessage, though Apple makes the feature optional.
Another plugin, Boomerang, also offers users read receipts, but if you want to track an email, the recipient will be notified that it's being tracked with a line inserted at the end of the email.
What sort of profession can I go into that doesn't use email? I'll see you guys in the woods.