‘LOOK AT THIS NOW’, ‘THE MOST IMPORTANT VIDEO YOU WILL EVER SEE!’, ‘IMPORTANT MESSAGE THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE’. These are some of the email message I receive which usually from the same people. I have some friends and family members who spend way too much time on the Internet and seem to think that the message they send out is the most important message we will receive during our entire life span.
Last week I had some fun with an acquaintance of mine who has made it his goal in life to share his political beliefs with the world. Since his retirement he has too much free time and has become a one person campaign to change Washington D.C., the White House and Congress all by himself.
So when I received another political message I responded negatively to his thoughts citing the fact he was a moron. I received a long response of about 10 paragraphs in which he defended himself and his beliefs. I merely sent back a response that said ‘Got You LOL’, and have a nice weekend with a ‘hee-hee’ at the end.
So when I read this article this morning about 5 tips for email etiquette I thought I would share the advice the writer has provided:
1. Watch your tone. Given the complete lack of speech nuances, facial expressions and body language, it is important to watch your tone. Language says a lot about how you are feeling. Now, we all have bad days and can be a bit short on email (guilty as charged). If you’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated or angry, don’t reply to an email that has brought you to that point. You’ll only manage to convey how angry you are. If it’s something worth getting angry about, it’s best to pick up the phone. Saying words like “huh?” can come across as crass and rude. Remember, you only have words to convey a range of different things; use them wisely.
This can also be applied to text messages. Sometimes I do not have a clue what the sender is saying or how they feel. Some people also have come up with their own set of short cuts that is known to them alone. I recently got a response from someone who said they were getting a HC. I had to text back and ask what HC was. HC to them meant haircut. Duh! How about just spelling it out! LOL
2. DON’T USE CAPITALS IN EMAILS! This is probably one of my biggest pet peeves. Unless it’s for exciting news, i.e. OH MY GOD, I WON THE LOTTERY or THAT WAS THE BEST FIRST DATE, EVER! or CAN YOU BELIEVE I’M GOING TO BE ON THE OPRAH SHOW?, that’s fine.
3. Don’t forget your manners – Say Please and Thank You. We often get to the point of familiarity with people over email, where we start replying in short phrases and leave the greetings and niceties at the door.
4. Ask Your Questions at the End. We go through emails everyday at an unprecedented rate. Sometimes it goes from reading right into the bin. Have you got something important to ask? Ask it at the end. If you do, it’s the last thing that will be on my mind when I respond to you. Asking questions at the beginning or the middle of an email will result in people forgetting by the time they get to the end of the message.
5. Life is Short. Stop Rambling. I can’t stand it when emails go on forever. If it’s a really compelling story about, say, how you just got back from an amazing spiritual quest at the foot of the Himalayas or a recipe for an amazing chocolate cake to end all of mankind, then please, go right ahead. If you’re “thinking out loud” on email, spare us all, please.
I know there are other tips out there. What do you recommend when sending out emails or texts? Share your thoughts with us.
Source – Speak Softly and Carry a Red Pen