Do you think that manners should not play a role in our digital communications? I disagree. For me manners are important. I know that it’s a challenge to be polite and follow rules of decorum in text messaging but I also know that it’s not necessary to be rude when you are being brief. The same thing holds true when writing e-mails. Here though, I believe some rules and manners can be applied.
For example, if a student is writing an e-mail to a teacher (or a professor) standard letter writing protocol can be followed. What do I mean? Well, I think a proper salutation should be used (Dear Mr., Ms , Professor, or Dr.followed by the last name). Often I think that because they are using an instant form of communication people assume they can be familiar or friendly with someone they either don’t know or don’t know well. Also when writing an e-mail to someone unfamiliar put a good but brief statement of intent in the subject line.Then, following the salutaion,state why you are writing, a little about the topic, and the outcome you are hoping for then close with Regards and your signature followed by your full name and contact information.
This lets the person you’re writing know that you are professional, respectful and you are someone with whom they may consider doing business.
Consider the alternative. When a person receives a message that begins with “Hey” and that person doesn’t know the author of the message the outcome might not be what the author is hoping for.
It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to be polite and follow a few simple protocols. You can always relax those protocols and be more familiar in your e-mails if need be. It is very difficult to go from familiar to formal – that essentially is backpedaling.
I’m interested to know if you are always familiar in your e-mail writing or if you are sometimes formal.