Technology reminds me of Dunkin Donuts commercial, “America runs on Dunkin.” Isn’t it the glaring fact. Even infants have their own share of the social trend with the invention of Baby Einstein.
The splurge on smart phones, I-pad and tablets makes us feel cooler and “IN.” Communication becomes quicker and faster. You can be reached anytime and anywhere. And you can respond anytime, anywhere.
However, the fast-mode advantage of the tech tools can lead to awkward, damaging and irreversible OOPS moments: Here are some examples from unintentional eavesdropping, my personal and other people and friends’ experience.
- DANGEROUS MOVE:You get pulled by a policeman while driving and texting. RECKLESS OOPSSENDING IT TO THE WRONG RECIPIENT: You sent a woman a quick note “Just came home from a meeting. I am tired. I will talk to you tomorrow.” Then after a few minutes, you sent another message to the same person,“Tonight was fun. Sleep well.We will talk tomorrow”. BUSTED OOPS
- AUTO-FILLER ERROR: Someone who is following up on an important document texted you. And you texted back, ” I will get it to you by the end of business day. I am bust. The confused recipient, asked back,” ????.” You checked your text and realized that instead of typing BUSY, the auto filler typed BUST. And without checking, you hit reply instantly. AWKWARD OOPS
- TYPING ERROR: You intend to send “I don’t mean to piss you.” However, you typed “puss.” instead. Then hit send. Remember, i and u are next to each other on the keypad. EMBARRASSING OOPS.
- ABBREVIATIONS: IRL(in real life), IDK (I don’t know), WTF (what the @#$%),ROTFLMAO (rolling on the floor laughing my $%& off), etc., need to be sent only to recipients who speak or are familiar with the same language. MILD OOPS-since the receiver may not know what you are talking about.:)
EMAIL OOPS and NETIQUETTE
- CAPS and Lower case: Use CAPS sparingly. Do not write a sentence with each words capitalized unless you feel the need for emphasis. For instance: PLEASE SEND ME THE DOCUMENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Although you use the word please , it does not offset the resounding result as if you are SHOUTING. Use lower case after each capitalized word
- Do not hit REPLY ALL especially if the email is sent to hundreds of recipients. Just imagine how many e-mails you will get if everybody who is copied on the email hit REPLY ALL.
- Double check the recipient’s e-mail address before sending. For instance, your friend Michael White’s e-mail is email@example.com. And another realtor’s email on your database is firstname.lastname@example.org. It could lead to a very serious and irreversible damage. What if your email is about your frustration, disappointment and joke about that realtor.
- Spell check before sending: The most common misspelld words I have seen are the words definitely (misspelled as definately, spontaneous(misspelled as spontanious) and the words with Is and Es next to each other. Remember the rule I before E except after C. Examples are the words receive, receipt, etc. However, there are exceptions to the rule as all rules are: ie after c: ancient, species, science, sufficient, society: ei not preceded by c: seize, weird, eider, either, height, foreign, leisure, counterfeit, forfeit, neither, their, queueing, Keith, reinsure.(source of exceptions: Wikipedia)
- Do not plagiarize: Plagiarism is a serious offense. It is considered stealing. Give credit to whom the credit is due. If you borrow someone else’s words, “quote.” There is nothing wrong with borrowed words as long as you recognize that it is not yours.
- Write professionally: If we have to show we are professionals, we need to write professionally. My biggest peeve is getting emails without a pause. A new sentence has to begin with a capital letter and end with a period.
- Do not forget to put a “Subject Line.” I admit that I have been guilty of this offense.
- Change the “Subject Line” if you intend to send a new message. Most of the time, we just keep on sending and forwarding messages to the same person with the same subject line even though the message is totally irrelevant and one-month old because of laziness. This could happen when we forgot to save the recipient’s e-mail address or when the auto-fill does not function. Typically, we use the find or search option for the name; pick the most recent e-mail from the inbox; resurrected the archived e-mail; then type the new message from there.
- Don’t respond when you are angry. When we get response from our fellow realtors which ruins our mood or day because of its nasty or unprofessional comments, it is only normal to get irked or angry. Hello. We are only humans with sensitivity and sensibility. Before you tap on your keyboard, it is advisable to walk and breath first before you respond. We tend to write back instantly because of our ignited emotions. Cool down and respond when your emotion is subdued and your mind —- clearer.
- Proofread: Make sure that the content is indeed what you want to convey. Check for grammatical errors and wrong spelling. Use the spell-check and review function when in doubt.
In case you committed one of the damaging and embarrassing irreversible Oops — the message received by the wrong recipient whose subject is the recipient— try to repair this situation by calling the recipient. Be civil, honest, open and apologetic. It might lead to a better relationship with that person.
Please take note: I am not a fool-proof writer and 100% social blunder-free. But we can always try to improve ourselves daily with our social interaction using the technology tools we can’t live without.
HAVE A GREAT DAY EVERYONE!!!