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The Evil That Emails Can Do

Updated on March 2, 2010


I’m as guilty as anyone else when it comes to hitting “send” just a little too soon. Over the years I’ve learned through trial and error that although I may think I’m charming and witty in an email, it really has nothing to do with what my original intent is and everything to do with the mindset that the person reading the email is in. You see, while like Madonna said in Vogue, “Rita Hayworth gave good face” I figure I write my blog five days a week and I “give good write” and even though someone may know me very well it has happened more than once that I have offended or made a not great situation worse. The evil emails can do – Don’t Get Me Started!

I get it, it’s easier to send an email to tell someone something that you don’t really want to tell them face to face or even on the phone but the problem is what I previously stated which is that more times than not, it will bite you in the ass. I don’t care if you think you’re a new modern day Keats or Shelley, when it comes to communicating, emails are best left for quick notes and forwarding pictures of adorable kittens doing things that make us all go, “Awww.” (You’ll notice I did NOT include “to send jokes of the day” or to send chain emails that let me know that all of my hair is going to fall out if I don’t forward the email to thirty people in the next thirty minutes)

I’ll never forget when I was working for my previous company and a co-worker was livid about something. She thought she would show the person who wrote the original email that pissed her off. Here is how her email started, “I’ve waited four hours until I could clam down enough to send this email.” Now anyone who read this knew immediately that she had not “calmed” down at all because she was typing while intoxicated with so much anger that she wrote “clamed” when she meant “calmed.” The only thing that made it worse than the fact that she sent this email when she was not of clear head (and let me say it went on forever and as we all know, no one really reads a long email, they skim it at best) she had not only hit “reply” but she had hit “reply all.” The only thing worse than sending an email to do the work you should be doing in person or by phone is hitting “reply all.”

I receive and send a lot of emails every day so I know that it can be easier to just send a quick email to someone but I beg of you to understand what emails are really for and how they’re best used. They’re great for sending someone information about an event or where you’re all going to meet that night to go out. They’re good for communicating with places like the DMV that you don’t really want to do in person waiting for an eternity and need a way of proving you sent them an email. They are not good for leaving your spouse (yes, I had a friend whose husband sent her a text to check her email where upon opening her email she discovered that he was asking her for a divorce) and they’re not the best for communicating with relatives you don’t see often enough so that they can understand what you mean behind the words on the screen. As I said in the beginning, it doesn’t depend upon your head space when you write the email, it’s the reader’s head space when they read the email. So for the sake of the people around you and for yourself to have some balls, please, pick up a phone and don’t send an email if it’s important. The evil emails can do – Don’t Get Me Started!

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