Funny how so many want to trivialize e-mail proper practices. “E-mail is informal (very)”, “e-mail is just a tool”, “why take e-mail so darned seriously”? Actual quotes in e-mails that have been sent to me.
Whenever I kindly correct someone or point out something that they need to be aware of so that they are perceived positively, (which is more important with business e-mails) I always receive an excuse…
- “I know you — those details don’t matter!” Hmmm… You’ve just basically told me that I am not worth the very little, minuscule effort to communicate with clarity and courtesy. Nice. So showing courtesy and ensuring your tone is not terse is only for strangers?
- “You’re being nit-picky! A greeting doesn’t make a hill of beans of a difference!” Well, a greeting does make a difference. It sets the tone and shows courtesy for the person you are communicating with.
- “I don’t want to have to resize photo attachments — that’s a hassle!” Yikes! Because you don’t want to learn something as easy as resizing photos, the rest of us have to deal with your multi-meg attachments? Sheesh! (One has to wonder about folks who are unwilling to improve their skills and take the time to learn new things.)
The above are reactions sent to me in just the last month. All the issues mentioned only required just a bit of extra effort, right? So why the resistance? Extra effort that takes negligible time but reflects an immense understanding of how to use e-mail properly while reflecting courtesy for those one communicates with.
Your e-mail is you! It speaks volumes as to who you are, what you feel is important and the effort you are willing to make for others. Choose to not show courtesy; choose to not use technology properly; choose to remain ignorant when it comes to the skills that are required to participate in an arena you are obviously underestimating, and all the excuses in the world will not change how you are perceived.
Online, perception is the only reality!