Texting/Email Etiquette

16 Jul

The lack of texting/email etiquette is increasingly becoming a pet peeve of mine. I’m referring to the absence of friendly greetings and basic civility that would otherwise accompany a live in-person conversation but is routinely side-stepped altogether when it comes to people pecking away at their smartphones or laptops. At the risk of sounding terribly old fashioned, when did we become so boorish? I have a few friends that don’t even take the time to type out Hi or Hello, they just launch directly into whatever it is they have to say, without so much as a polite salutation or proper good-bye.

Since texting and emailing are some of the most common ways we communicate with one another, I think it’s worth investing time creating some kind of mindfulness-based practice around these methods of electronic connection. Here are some ideas:

Ways to infuse mindfulness into our texting/emailing routine

  • When beginning a new conversation strain, start with a greeting, such as: hi, hiya, hi there, hello, sup, good morning, top of the day…something to indicate that you’re not a caveman who’s totally unfamiliar with the subtleties of being kind and polite.
  • Tune into whether you’re feeling rushed when texting/emailing someone. So often we’re caught up in rapid-fire responding, fingers or thumbs ablaze. We can ask ourselves: Do I really need to be moving this ferociously?
  • Be attentive to your tone of voice when typing. It takes more time and will require more focused awareness than perhaps you’re used to, but how we communicate is perhaps the most important element in determining the quality of our relationships. Take the extra time to ensure that what you’re typing is coming across in a friendly manner. Remember: tone of voice comes across differently through our electronic gadgets. We have to enfold extra time and concentration into making sure we’re coming across well, since people cannot see our body language or hear our actual tone of voice when communicating.
  • Sign off in a manner that doesn’t make it seem like you’re just droppin the mic and walking off-stage. So many people that I receive texts or emails from don’t take the time to offer a short closing, they just stop typing and press send. It’s as though they were suddenly abducted by aliens and were unable to formally say good-bye before getting beamed aboard.
  • Read what you write before sending it off into the electronic ether. Don’t just skim for quirky auto-correct mistakes, read it for content and tone of voice.
  • A :) goes a very long way. Never underestimate the power of a well chosen opportunity to put a :) into your text or email.

Happy texting/emailing everyone :)

P.S I’d love hearing your own experiences with electronic forms of communication, please comment below if you feel so inclined!



Posted by on July 16, 2017 in Everyday Practice


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 responses to “Texting/Email Etiquette

  1. smilecalm

    July 16, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    e-tall, devoid of presence
    somehow the near
    enemy of true communication :-)

  2. thesubtleartofpostgrad

    July 18, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Completely agree especially when talking about emails. I find that responses are so much better when I greet my colleagues with a good morning, good afternoon etc. It starts the tone for the conversation on a much brighter note.

  3. 5amt3n

    September 15, 2017 at 11:10 am

    I loved this post! I agree with you completely. Saying hi at the beginning of a text/email and something like ‘take care’ at the end of a correspondence takes seconds and brings some positive human connection into the text/email. I like what you said about ‘tone’. I have found that, over time, through lots of repetition and awareness of what I was doing every single time, that it has now become automatic to keep the tone of an email/text kind and respectful no matter what. Even just asking myself: ‘Would I like to receive this? How would it make me feel?’ goes a long way to keeping the tone a good one. Also, thanks for the list. I’m keeping this post as a reminder to myself to always keep in my awareness our linked humanity always.


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