May 10, 2016
The rules of etiquette are some of the most important things for you to follow during the general course of your life, but it’s important to note than those rules are adaptive. They change over time. They change with different cultures and geography. And they change as new technology (especially communication technology) enters into the daily connection sphere.
So all those you may be a king or queen of etiquette when it comes to the old guard, when new methods of communication come around (ushered in by the computer and mobile revolutions, for example) then there’s going to be some relearning to do. To illustrate, consider the specific examples of email, social media, online forums, text messaging, and voice mail.
The rules of email are interesting because they’re often subtle and unspoken, and can change rapidly depending on individual situations. The rules between friends are different than the rules between people doing business. And then there are relationships to consider like student to teacher, or from advertiser to potential client. Because emotion conveys particularly poorly in the email format, make sure you double check your tone before sending out emails that might have unintended consequences.
Social Media Etiquette
And when you try to figure out social media rules, you’ll find that with each new social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat) the process is slightly different. Once again, you have to have a strong comprehension of people in which sphere of your life have access to your public messages (consider fellow students, or only family members), and that will require you to adjust some of your language and formatting simply for the sake of politeness and the desire not to offend or give off too much information.
Online forums are an interesting beast on their own as well. If you’ve ever tried to interact on Reddit, you’ll find that if you say the wrong things in the wrong place, you can get jumped on by a lot of people who immediately focus on you as an outsider.
Text messaging between two people has a strong flow of etiquette in it as well. Times that you can text, how often you should ask questions, how quickly you should respond, and if emojis are expected in order to convey emotion are all part of the etiquette you have to understand in order to communicate effectively these days.
Voice Mail Etiquette
Voice mail is an interesting topic in today’s communication world because for the most part, people prefer not to ever check their messages. They expect that if you have something important to say, you’ll text in order to ensure that communication gets across, but voicemails are for nonessential stuff.