Emily Post of the 21st Century

Today: communication, mail and messages!

I take calls from everybody at all times. Most of my friends, however, know that you should only call others if you have something really, really important to tell them.  Consequently, I have to answer the telephone relatively infrequently. But there are some exceptions . Some people call me more often than strictly necessary. And since those people are very nice people, I forgive them.

But seriously: if it were up to me, I would write quite a few new things on communication in “Etiquette in Society, Business and at Home – 2013”.

For instance, when it comes to the letter C as in “communication”, I would write the following commandments:

  • Never call anybody unnecessarily!
  • Only use the telephone function of your small, mobile computer when you are in a totally hopeless situation!
  • In particular, avoid calling while travelling – no matter if you are walking, riding a bike, driving a car or going by train!
  • Only call someone if you have arranged to call beforehand!
  • If you cannot avoid calling someone, find out if maybe communicating via Hangout or perhaps Skype is a better alternative!
  • And, please, prepare in advance what you want to talk about. Arrange your ideas and have all documents you may need for reference handy before you start dialling!
  • And, please, do not be too talkative and long-winded!

Under the letter M like in “Mail” I would formulate as follows:

  • Only send an email if there is no better alternative!
  • How about re-reading about TOFU!
  • If you have to send an email, avoid long footers!
  • Avoid at all costs attachments with some strange legally necessary and yet totally useless phrases!
  • Wherever possible, send your email only to one recipient!
  • If at all, use “cc” only as in the way of sending a  “copy to”!
  • Never send “bcc”, because it is forbidden!
  • Well – and if we are talking one of those ping pong emails: why don’t you just delete all the rubbish and all those footers!

More on the letter M like in “Messages” :

  • Wherever possible, avoid SMS!
  • If you have to send short messages to people, use the medium preferred by your partner. You might use “What’s App”, FB Messenger, Twitter DM or some such!
  • Do not write short messages unnecessarily long!

And here another letter M like in “Miscellaneous” where I would give you basic advice as follows:

  • Never think in terms of distribution, but always in terms of communities!
  • In communication, too, transparency and openness are the central values!
  • Whenever you write about persons, keep in mind that the person concerned might read it!

I am sure you could find more on the subject. And if necessary, I am quite willing to justify every one of the aforementioned points. And in the future, I will also try to adhere to my own rules a little better.


(Translated by EG)

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