Recently I gave some family members and friends reason to question my sanity when I sent a mass email to them stating that I was putting into effect, immediately, some email etiquette that needed to be followed if they were to have the pleasure of future email correspondence with me.
I explained I found it disheartening that people were writing me emails that did not start with a greeting or end with a salutation. We’re not savages are we? I mean, seriously, I’d get an email from someone after not hearing from them for 2 weeks, and it would say something like, “did you get the car”. That’s it. No “Hi mark” or “hope to see you soon”. Just, “did you get the car yet” Are we really that busy that we can’t even put a question mark at the end.
That email could have read, “Hi Mark, I was thinking of the conversation we had at Emily’s house last week and I was wondering if you bought that Corvette you mentioned? Talk to you soon; Joe”
If that were the case, I may have answered, “Hey Joe, I’m surprised you remembered after all those beers you had, but yes, I did get it and it’s even more fun to drive then you said it would be. Give my best to Sue; Your friend,Mark. “ Instead, I opened this impersonal 5 word statement, and hit the DELETE button as fast as I could.
I looked through some of my old emails and discovered that everyone is doing it. I received one email from my boss recently, in response to a question I posed to him via email, complete with a greeting and a salutation. When I opened his email response days later, the email consisted of one word. It said, NO. Now, how nice is that? Is he that busy that he only had time to type 2 letters, N and O? It is that email that instigated this mission I am on. All I want to do is to do my little part, trying to make this cold impersonal world a little better place. Everyone has forgotten the basics of letter writing, or just choose to forget about them. We can’t be that busy, can we?
I wanted to stop the madness so I sent out the mass email. I wanted to bring everyone back to a more simple time, a time when common courtesy didn’t feel like a chore.
From the responses I received, you would have thought I informed everyone that I was going to open an illegal dog fighting training center or something. All I’m asking for is a “Hi Mark”. That’s not that hard.
Most of the responses I received contained either words of concern, sarcasm or hatred. Some contained all three. The good news is, most of them contained a greeting and a salutation. I thought, wow, I was getting somewhere.
The only positive response was from my niece. She sent me an email that said, “Dear Uncle Mark, Cool!” Now that I think about it, it’s quite possible there was a bit of sarcasm there. Many people have sent emails, explaining their point of view, i.e., “emails are just a continuation of a conversation”, voiced my older brother. A friend who I will call “Jane” responded like this. “Dear Mark. Are you ok? I’m worried about you.” My younger brother has abided by my new rules, but his emails with exaggerated greetings and salutations have enough sarcasm dripping off them to drown a small cat.
I recently received an email from a friend who I shall call “Jane”. Her email had a beautiful greeting and a lovely salutation. The first line of her email said, “…This writing Dear Mark sure is time consuming…..”
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe we are just too damn busy.