I am often bewildered and a teeny bit scared by how easy it is to misconstrue things when communicating via electronic media. I’ve both done it and been on the receiving end of it and it’s a minefield!
Here are my thoughts on electronic communication protocol and general musings:
- If you are sending me an email, please always use a salutation (“Hi” is preferable but “Dear” at a push if I don’t know you or if we have a formal relationship). Never start with just “Suzi…..”, I find it too direct (rude). There is a way of tempering the directness either by familiarity or by the ensuing easy reading and friendly content littered with lots of exclamation marks (these always soften things for me).
- Instant messaging is fine to just leap in with the message – no salutation necessary. “fancy a coffee?” is perfect.
- Always read your message before you send it – imagine being on the receiving end of it!
- OK – for some people ‘OK’ is seen as ‘dismissive’. For me I use it to acknowledge what has been said and in my head I am saying ‘noted’. No offence.
- On the difficult subject of kisses……… Generally speaking if someone puts kisses on an email or text it is considered surly not to reciprocate. It’s a minefield. Of course the implications of adding kisses are different for different people. Generally for a lot of girls I think it’s a pretty fair assumption that a kiss isn’t necessarily an indication of love or intended flirtation, more a friendly gesture. Whereas most men are not given to the free issue of kisses unless there is a subtext (completely unsubstantiated opinion there). In my experience of the work place, probably best leave them off. Kisses between work colleagues (of the opposite sex) is deeply frowned upon, especially by spouses and especially if you happen to be on holiday with said spouse.
- DM’s – keep on sliding in…. so down with the kids….. who doesn’t love a DM???
- On the difficult subject of the two ticks….. hey you WhatsAppers….. I sit next to a dater…. she was an avid dater (until finding Mr Right). I cannot begin to tell you how many times I heard this…. ‘he’s read my message and not responded’. I get it…. it’s annoying but not always because of ignorance or game-playing, sometimes real life has taken over but when on the receiving end it can appear rude and dismissive. Steer clear of WhatsApp if you are easily offended.
- Game-playing with communication. If someone thinks its OK to play mind / power games with communication then it’s a pretty big clue that they are a dick. My advice, steer well clear and find someone worth your time and effort.
Feels so good to get all of that off my chest!