Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Email and Text Never Die.

File this one under a "business" and "personal" etiquette lesson:

1. Watch what you say in electronic communication.

2. If you have something important to communicate (such as "You're fired," "You piss me off," "No, I'm not giving you your money," "I'm dumping you," etc.) do it in person -- not via email or text.

Emails and text messages can and will come back to haunt you. From an etiquette perspective, communicating important or (worse yet) hurtful or angry messages via electronic media is just downright disrespectful. There is a person on the receiving end.

It's appalling that there have been firings and breakups via text message.

And, leaving good manners out of it for a minute, should the receiver ever need to circle back to you, say, in court, you wouldn't want these nasty missives shown to the judge, now would you? This happens all the time on The People's Court and the myriad court shows out there.

Now, for those of you who have some sort of legal bent, such as, "at my job we have to document everything," that's fine, as long as it's done professionally and without attack. But those personal messages? Communicate in person.

I once received a nasty email telling me how "miserable every aspect" of my wedding was, and how the letter-sender "was sorry she had to sit through it." Don't worry, EB has never forgotten this person -- and will never extend kindness to her, either. And yep, the email still exists.

So, today's lesson:

1. When you have something important to communicate, do it in person.
2. If you must document your communication, be polite and leave the negativity out of it.
3. Email and text messages never die.

Got it? Good.