You are what you write. How you communicate will be an indication as to who you are and the kind of person you are — what you think is important. Learn to write with clarity and take folks at their word – not what you "think" they mean.
- Sending email with extremely foul, threatening or abusive language is crude. This includes obscenities, verbal harassment, threats of slander or personal comments that would prove offensive based on race, religion, or sexual orientation.
- No matter how rude someone may be to you, or how offended you may be by others opinions, don’t lower yourself to their level by stooping to obscenities, threats or claims of self-importance. Always state your opinion clearly and concisely, without personalizing an issue or resorting to name-calling.
- If you have mistakenly offended or have misinterpreted what another person wrote, do not hesitate to apologize. Also, apologies should only be offered with sincerity. Certainly, this does not mean you need to apologize to everyone who has a different or overly critical opinion than you do. We are all individuals and for the most part we all do our best to do the right thing. If you make a mistake, make note and put the appropriate corrections or modifications in place to prevent the same from happening in the future.
- This is a good time to keep in mind that you never put anything in an email that you don’t want the world to know about. Private emails are forwarded to public forums and social networks all the time.
Do your best to always take the high ground and set an example of how adults communicate and share differing opinions.
- Due to the lack of vocal and nonverbal clues with email, use emoticons and acronyms when necessary to convey your message. If you are joking, include a smiley face :-), if you are sad or upset you can use :(. If you need to type an extra line or two to make sure your intent is clear–please do!! If you are unsure of someone’s intent or meaning, ask them before making assumptions and accusations that you may regret."I didn’t mean it that way" does not apply online. If you typed it, the recipient will take the words you type at their face value.