I’m far from being a techo-geek, however you view that – positive or negative. I don’t have a smart phone or any i-gadgets, nor do I have much desire to own these…although I’m getting to be more curious. I do love e-mail and can browse the internet without any issue, but downloading programs or solving problems makes me anxious. I know all too well that my elementary aged children are going advance beyond my abilities on the computer all too soon.
But I do know about etiquette, even if involved with the electronic kind.
I grew up hand-writing prompt thank you notes after being given a gift. I took care in my written correspondence to use grammar correctly and to choose my words wisely. This carries over to my electronic correspondence, but not everyone complies. For many, including the children who are growing up solely in the electronic world, I personally think there should be some “old lessons” to learn and guidelines to follow. Even an adult or two could benefit from a reminder.
*You can’t “hear” e-mail. Know that if it can be interpreted in an unintended way, it probably will be. Read it to yourself – out loud, if necessary — to make sure that you’re relaying the message you want to.
*If I send a message to you, please don’t respond by copying somebody else, too. If I wanted that other person to read my message, I would have sent it myself. It’ll make me wary of writing you in the future.
*Before hitting “send” – be it on your e-mail or phone – make sure it’s going where you wanted it to. I made an unforgivable “oops” by sending a text accidentally to the one person who wasn’t supposed to read it. Lesson to self – don’t write it in the first place, especially if it was a trigger-response. Or at the very least, make sure you know where the message is going. Thankfully, my friend was forgiving.
*Take care! When writing something – anything – show an effort. There’s nothing I find more annoying than a bunch of typos, misspellings, or grammar issues when someone sends me a message. It just shows me someone too rushed to take the time to proof what they wrote. For goodness sakes, spell check is a no brainer, and these days it comes with a grammar check as well. Use it.
*STOP YELLING AT ME!!! Over-using the bold feature can also come across as threatening.
*Emoticons? I’m guilty of the smiley face. Some people also use the frown face, the wink, the surprised face and even animated emoticons these days. Wink, wink, nod, nod…overkill?
*Text abbreviations are fine, although with all the smart phone usage you really shouldn’t need to use all the cutesy shortcuts out there. Showing my age – or ignorance – I have to Google a lot of them when they come through on my phone. My pre-pre-teen daughter feels it’s her right to have such a secret language. But I digress. Abbreviations are acceptable; laziness is not. Think of your message, your venue, and your audience.
This is far from a complete list of tech indiscretions; they are just a few of my personal pet peeves. Feel free to add to the list!