Rules of Techno-Etiquette

Rules of techno-etiquette by Sunil JaganiIn this day and age, it’s all too common for people to seem distracted on their smartphones and tablets.  That’s true whether they’re at a family dinner or a corporate meeting.  It’s pretty annoying, but it also doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so we should all find certain “guidelines” to follow regarding its use.  I recently read an article that shared some of these guidelines, and I like what it has to say:

Online communications are like business letters: Word business texts or emails professionaly.  That means no emojis!  In an email, you should include a professional signature.

Be brief, but not abrupt: Online communication is by nature brief, but being too short just comes across as rude.  Always speak in complete sentences, and include any and all relevant information so your response stands alone.  Of course, this is all depends on the relationship you have with the person.

Respond quickly: To set you apart from your competitors, respond to any emails quickly and promptly; offer a response the same day you get it.

Be careful with “reply all”: Check a distribution list before hitting “reply all” on an email; you might find yourself revealing some private information, or in many cases the sender is the only person who needs a response.

Only send attachments with permission: Some companies have policies against opening attachments, so always ask before sending anything, especially if it’s large.

Don’t send unsolicited ads: Electronic newsletters are an effective way to stay in touch with your clients, yet sending them without permission is just annoying.  Ask for permission before you add somebody to your list, and always offer an “opt out” link.

Use BCC: If you want to send a message to a group of people, but don’t everybody to know whose CC’d, then use “BCC”, so only the person to whom the correspondence is addressed appears in that person’s inbox.

Choose your words carefully: You don’t want to use curse words in your emails; humor and foul language don’t always translate well through email.  If you don’t choose the right words, you risk coming off as unprofessional.  Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want published in your company newsletter.

Let people know when you aren’t available: When you want a break from the Internet, let people know with an “Out of Office” or “Vacation Responder” feature.  This tells people when you aren’t available for an extended period of time and when you’ll return.

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