Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Web Secret 609: Digital etiquette part 3

This is the last in a series of 3 articles on digital good manners. The New York Times believes that poor digital behavior is a big problem, as they are devoting yet another week to the topic. Here are the top suggestions:

Best practices include:


The main recipients of an email, who are expected to reply, go in the “to” field. People who are not expected to reply go in the “CC” field.

Make your email as easy to deal with as possible. Keep it short, to the point and make clear what you need (if anything) in response. Passive-aggressive tricks to avoid — things like CCing someone’s boss, putting “URGENT” in the subject line unnecessarily, and the dreaded “Thanks in advance” signoff.

If necessary, consider declaring email "bankruptcy” — delete old emails you know you’ll never get to. If the emails are weeks old, it’s likely the senders are no longer expecting a response anyway.


Texting is replacing a face-to-face or phone conversation, but you don’t have access to all the nonverbal cues — facial expressions, tone of voice, etc. — to get the same message across. So getting the tone right is really important, and often really difficult. Because we have so little to go on, we often end up reading too much into messages. Read your message back to yourself and check that your intentions won’t be misunderstood before you hit send.

I think I'm going to be writing these kinds of blog posts again and again.

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