A recent article in the New York Times speaks talks about etiquette redefined in the digital age.
Bilton continues to express how receiving a simple “Thank You” in an email or a voice message is simply rude as it is a waste of everyone’s time. I don’t know how true I think this is. It is found that there are different generations that expect different treatment via email. And apparently, as a community we are supposed to know this!
There is also a work relationship etiquette that is experienced via email. Is it appropriate to speak in a casual manner or do we have to express our emails formally each time?
“Of course, some people might think me the rude one for not appreciating life’s little courtesies. But many social norms just don’t make sense to people drowning in digital communication.” – Bilton
Laura Stack writes about email etiquette in the professional industry. She writes about how you should keep messages brief and to the point. One should be sparing with group e-mail. Send group e-mail only when it’s useful to every recipient. Use the “reply all” only if you have something to add as your recipients get quite annoyed to open an e-mail that only says “Thanks!”
Bilton continues to express his pet peeves over voicemail. He thinks it is a completely waste of time leaving a voice message explaining to someone that they have just called and to call them back. I mean, that is what the missed call log and texting is for of course!
As generations change and technology advances, it changes our day-to-day relationships with others. Standard etiquette in previous years used to be thank you cards and party invitations – and nowadays we have new technology that has taken over with digital media and the older habits are falling out of favour. For example, people receive party invitations via Facebook Events or online letters such as Paperless post.
Furthermore, people have no need to communicate with people in the street to ask for simple things such as directions as you can direct yourself with a smart phone!
These newer methods of communication have helped to generate revised etiquette that suits them. For example, with the introduction to smart phones with the use of social media has produced the use of these extra ways of contact on the go. What is the etiquette for face-to-face relationships? Is it appropriate to use your phone to check your Facebook or to Tweet whilst you are on the go? What about at dinner? In a meeting?
Bilton talks about how a professor of digital anthropology, Tom Boellstorff, concluded that part of the problem lies within the fact that offline and online communications borrow from each other. For instance, the e-mail term CC stands for carbon copy, as in the carbon paper used to copy a letter. Similarly, people use the term “I saw this on Facebook” or “She wrote on my wall” in everyday basis.
So what do you think about the current etiquette in our society? Do you think new technology calls for new etiquette? Has even the introduction to blogging changed the way we expect to read our news every morning?
Furthermore, do you listen to your voicemails or would you rather people just sent you a text? Let us know – what habits drive you mad when it comes to mobile and email?