Lately I’ve been in email chain hell. On an endless list of CC’s, BCC’s, Forwards and Reply All’s. I’ve been sucked into discussions, heated debates and benign shit like jokes or the always annoying threatening inspirational messages. You know, the ones that praise God from whom all blessings flow and then promise you 22 months of oozing open sores if you don’t forward to at least 10 people and 54 months if you delete.
The good news is that it reminded me that I needed to sit my pre-teen daughter down and talk email etiquette. This conversation made me realize that adults could use a refresher course as well, so here goes.
Don’t say it in an email if you won’t say it to someone’s face. I know you think that because you’re sending it to the person and signing your name, that you’re being forthcoming, but really, would you say it that way and use that tone to a person’s face? Probably not. It’s a proven fact that one’s balls double in size when they’re behind their computer.
Sarcasm Doesn’t Work Well On Email. A sarcasm button like the bold and italics would be extremely helpful, but in lieu of that, keep the sarcasm for face to face conversations.
CC Craziness. Don’t pull others into your pissing matches. Just because you CC’d me doesn’t mean that I agree with you.
Beware The Reply All. If I wanted everyone’s comments, I would have joined a listserve. Even if you agree with and want to add to the sender’s comments that doesn’t mean that everyone else on the list gives a damn.
Re-read Your Emails Before Sending. Is that really what you wanted to say? Will they get the joke? Are you being specific? Are you giving too much information? Be sure before you send.
It’s eMAIL not eTALK. Keep it simple.
Don’t Drink and Email. And don’t email while extremely sad, mad, pissy, or highly annoyed. Take a breath, create some space, think about it and then start to type. Remember that emails are evidence that can be printed out, forwarded or accidentally sent to the wrong party.
Although I don’t text message, these rules apply to Blackberries, cell phones, and Instant Messaging.