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Mind Your Pixel Manners

Oh be careful little fingers what you type. It is hard to truly acknowledge how we come across in print to another person. With the advent of texting, tweeting, posting, emailing and more, brevity and convenience often trump manners and the few moments it takes to ask ourselves if what we are saying and how we are saying it are kind and polite. In this moment, I want to prevail upon us to remember our manners and remind my readers of a few key things:

• Typing in all capital letters is considered screaming. Don’t do it. It’s not nice. Not only is it difficult to read, it is also considered dreadfully rude in many cultures. This habit should be dropped in a hurry.
• On the flip, communicating in all lower-case letters is indicative of a lacking education and laziness.
• Use ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Buttering up your reader and asking permission with ‘please’ just smooths the path to your reader’s heart. Saying ‘thank you’ shows your appreciation. Remember that acknowledgement for a job well done for a kindness gently delivered is akin to getting a pat on the back. We all need it and want it.
• Avoid upsetting your reader with misunderstood humor. Because the reader cannot see the coy turn of your lips when you deliver a piece of information with sarcasm, they can quickly misconstrue your meaning. The written word in the workplace is not a forum for facetiousness or poking fun at anyone. Again, in person they can see you wink, smile or hear the funny intonation of your voice change, but not in pixels. Use sarcasm at your own risk.
• If you want it to be read, be brief. Do not belabor a point to exhaustion. We are a society with a VERY small attention span. We can focus for about 8 seconds (http://bit.ly/lduZUh) and then we are onto the next thing. Save the long stuff for when you see each other in person or talk on the phone.
• No swearing.
• Excessive use of ‘!!!!!’ is considered rude and over-use of ‘??????’ is condescending.

These are just a few things that will help you appear your best in business communications.

Additional source: http://www.101emailetiquettetips.com/

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