Posts Tagged 'computers'

The Top 5 Email Etiquette Faux Pas

E-mailMost of us will use email every day and this has led to a lapse in common sense and manners. Here are the top 5 faux pas when using email.

Hello! If you’ve never met the person you are emailing, starting the email with ‘Hello, Jack’ or ‘Hi Jill!’ is never acceptable and irritates more people than others may think

Spelling Emails are designed to be a quick way for us to communicate but that doesn’t mean that we are given an excuse to look ill-educated by sloppy spelling, especially when emailing clients or people who are not our friends or family (but you should practise using good spelling on them, too!)

Name-check When we see an email such as ‘alex.jones@…’ most of us will probably assume that Alex is a man. An increasing number of people are getting gender-confused on email. Always best to double-check. Telephone the company and ask before sending the email, or ask your colleagues who may have dealt with he/she before. Never start an email (or letter) with ‘Dear Jack Smith’. Find out the title in advance

Attachments ‘Please find attached’. If you say something is attached, make sure it is! Double-check everything before hitting the send button.

Ignoring emails If you get an email from a legitimate person, it’s common courtesy (although not common enough) to acknowledge it. Even if you’re the busiest person in the world, send back a response reassuring the sender you’ve got the email but will deal with it at a later date. This will save them worrying that their email is broken

William Hanson
Tutor, The English Manner

Flying Into the Facebook of Danger

This is not the first time this has happened; neither will it be the last, but according to media reports, a few weeks ago a worker was sacked for writing on her Facebook profile that her job with a marketing firm was “boring”. Kimberly Swann, 16, Essex, was asked to leave after her manager saw the comment.

William Hanson on BBC1's The Big Questions

William Hanson on BBC1's The Big Questions

The current ‘king’ of social networking, recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. The media covered this event thoroughly; I have spoken about the issue on various radio stations and last week on BBC1’s Sunday morning live debate programme, The Big Questions, hosted by Nicky Campbell.

Facebook is a wonderful tool, yet it can also pose great danger and caution is needed. It is important to remember that you are making information about yourself semi-public, and all-and-sundry can log-on, register and look at your profile.

I do not for one moment suggest that Facebook and the like are scrapped. Some of my friends are hopeless when it comes to email and the only way to get their attention is to send them a Facebook message (which can be both public and private). The important thing to remember is that social networking sites should be there to complement our social lives, and not to replace them. There is no substitute for face-to-face conversation. The danger with such sites is that younger generations will become unable to hold a proper conversation, or to write legibly. (My own handwriting is far from perfect! Although that is more to do with the rise of the computer in general, rather than Facebook or MySpace.)

These sites are no place for anyone who wants to remain anonymous or enigmatic; some people even choose not to reveal their real names.

As this unfortunate girl found out, some employers (rightly or wrongly) do now check their employees’ profiles – either before they hire or after. It is important that we don’t use our Facebook pages to create a different, more glamorous version of ourselves – masking the real person. If you are true and consistent to yourself, then you probably won’t fall into any traps. facebook-logo

If you upload photographs of an event, do remember your friends’ egos. Decide (or ask) people what images they want online, especially if they are embarrassing. Don’t splurge out details of a private conversation you may have had in the public zones on the social networking sites. Avoid applications such as ‘Top Friends’, where you rate your friends and put them in order: you may as well line up your friends in real life and give them differing rosettes.

There is a school of thought that the more friends you have the more kudos you will gain amongst other friends: poppycock.

One positive of Facebook is that it tells you a few days before whose birthday is coming up, thus enabling you to (if they are a real friend) go and buy a present and/or card. This does not mean that for ‘real’ friends you can then write on their ‘Wall’ wishing them happy birthday. How impersonal!

Social networking sites can be a help; they can also be a hindrance. Common sense will help you steer clear of any mishaps that one day could cost you your job.

William Hanson
Tutor, The English Manner


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