Some Basic Psychology of Email

Email is something everybody does now right?  No, believe it or not everybody doesn’t yet.  It has become old hat for most though with most applications now requiring an email address.  Still, there remains a chunk of the that just don’t get email.

Those who have entered into this email revolution have found there are different rules than there are with phone or snail mail communication:

1) It doesn’t convey emotion.  Email has no sound so the reader must assume your tone.  For this reason it is very important to be brief and to the point.  Those who ramble in emails are bound to either offend or bore people reading their words.

2) You name is listed before they even open the email so saying your name is redundant.

3) It is permanent and can be used in a court of law.  Once you send out an email remember that you can never alter your words.  They are burned into the annals of time.

These are just a few things I have learned about email and they make me a better “emailer.”  Is there anything you have learned about people and email?

7 Replies to “Some Basic Psychology of Email”

  1. I love email because I can get to it on my own time. I can save things to look at later. It is so much more convenient that talking on the phone. I don’t think it replaces a good hand written letter. I hate getting an email as a thank you note.

  2. uh, where is the psychology you were promising?

    anyways, “email can’t convey emotion” is one of my pet topics. i don’t think it’s true.

    – can poetry convey emotion?
    – can letters convey emotions? (ever gotten/received a love letter?)
    – can books convey emotions?

    well, of course they can. so can email.

    it’s just that emails aren’t accompanied by body language. granted, that’s a big part of communication (93% is the number that usually gets floated around; one day i’m going to dig and find out where that comes from).

    but – yes, i have another but. i think there is a bit of an equivalent of body language in email. it’s how you format the email (font, colour, using paragraphs etc), whether and how you use emoticons, how quickly you reply, how you use greetings and signatures, etc.

    here’s a good example: i’ve never met you, damien. don’t have a clue what your body language is like (something that i pay tons of attention to in f2f encounters) but over time, i’ve really come to appreciate you.

    isabella moris last blog post..11 things i learned at millionaire mind intensive

  3. My biggest pet peeve with emails is when people (my mother does the ALL the time) feel they must type with the caps lock on 98% of the time that they are on the computer.

    As far as greeting and salutations go, I will occasionally do a “Hi”, “what’s up”, “how are you doing”, or similar greeting at the beginning of an email message depending on the situation but nothing too extensive and as for the end of the message, as you have seen in the past, one blank like and then my name left-aligned

    Nicks last blog post..How Blog Readers Are Like Cookies

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