[T]he more urgently technology incentivizes us to respond to a proposition, the more we rely on our own heuristics. Less time does not promote deeper thought.
Today, when you are compelled to comment right away, ask yourself, “How would I respond to this differently if I had to invest the time and effort to get an envelope and a stamp?”
via James Shelley – photo credit: Daria Nepriakhina
His plan was to show his coworkers just how dependent they really were on e-mail, emphasizing how many times a day they were compelled to check it, and proving that it was no longer a productivity tool, but a procrastinator’s best friend. One Man’s Vision of a Social Workplace.
In a world where businesses and friends often depend upon e-mail to communicate, scholars want to know if electronic communications convey ideas clearly.
The answer, the professors conclude, is sometimes “no.” Though e-mail is a powerful and convenient medium, researchers have identified three major problems.
- E-mail lacks cues like facial expression and tone of voice. That makes it difficult for recipients to decode meaning well;
- The prospect of instantaneous communication creates an urgency that pressures e-mailers to think and write quickly, which can lead to carelessness; and
- The inability to develop personal rapport over e-mail makes relationships fragile in the face of conflict.
And a visual that is worth a thousand words.
See also: Wikis in Plain English
You’ve just finished composing an e-mail to a potential client you’ve talked with a few times before. Now for the tricky part: your sign-off. Should you use “Sincerely,” “Kind regards” or “Cheers”? How do you sound friendly without coming across as unprofessional?
This article analyzes a few sign-offs. Here’s what it says about my favorite:
The salutation: “Cheers”
Bates: Only use this sign-off for friends and business colleagues you might meet for coffee.
Kerr: You can use this with someone you know well, but if you’re trying to make a business impression, this is not a great way to say goodbye when you’re first doing business with someone. Save it for after having established a bond.
To email or not to email: Michael Dell
Top 10 when NOT to email
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