Is courtesy no longer “in”? Have we lost our humanity when using technology? Are we a bunch of uneducated imbeciles?
From some of the emails floating around one could easily think this to be true. It is clear that the spammers think we are.
But I don’t agree.
I believe that we want to communicate with “knowledge, understanding and courtesy” and that many just do not realize the impact of the written word.
- conventional requirements as to social behavior; proprieties of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion.
- a prescribed or accepted code of usage in matters of ceremony, as at a court or in official or other formal observances.
- the code of ethical behavior regarding professional practice or action among the members of a profession in their dealings with each other
What is acceptable?
There are those who believe that they do not have to make any efforts in their daily email communications. Then you have the spammers who jam our inboxes and use our resources without recourse. Why has this become acceptable?
Truth is, it never really did. We accepted it and allowed it to continue. But that doesn’t have to be the standard. We can lead by example.
This Pledge is for those who want to reflect the importance of taking the time to be courteous. To spell check, to say Hi and Thank You! in emails.
By showing concern for those on the other side by virtue of our actions and words is simply common courtesy. A reflects our humanity.
Because you understand how technology works, you use it properly and that that effort is part and parcel of participation. To hide behind this screen as an excuse to be lazy or crude is no longer be acceptable.
The goal is not to tell people what to do or hinder free speech as some will immediately assume. The purpose is to ensure the online world does not degrade to the point where we no longer want to participate.
Or worse, make the efforts necessary towards behaving in such a way that allows each and every one of us to grow, learn, enjoy and prosper.
Won’t you join this noble effort?
The E-mail Etiquette Pledge
As a concerned Netizen who enjoys communicating with technology in an informed and courteous manner; who doesn’t want to see the online world lose its humanity, I hereby take the following E-mail Etiquette Pledge.
- Do my best and make an effort to learn about and follow proper E-mail Etiquette so that I can communicate with courtesy and clarity so as to avoid misunderstandings. E-mail is not just about me — it is about the person on the other side of the screen as well!
- Ensure I don’t hide behind this screen to say and do things I would otherwise not do if face-to-face with those I email.
- Type to others as I would have them type unto me!
- Make an effort to understand technology enough to be able to use it properly so that my lack of knowledge doesn’t have a negative impact on those I communicate with.
By taking the above simple pledge, I hope to help encourage other onliners to not use this wonderful technology as an excuse to be lazy. Instead, let’s reach out and communicate as educated, civil, caring and courteous human beings.
Now that you’ve taken The Pledge, you can download your “I Took The Pledge!” E-mail Etiquette Pledge Certificate PDF (3M). All you have to do is print it out, sign, date it and display it with pride.
Educators are welcome to use this certificate in their courses. If you do, I would love to hear about it!