Electronic messages, such as email, texts, tweets, and social media posts, are a great way to communicate–especially when you don’t need an immediate answer. You can send the message and then let the person read and respond when convenient. They are also helpful to get the same message to several people quickly. Electronic messages can also be helpful when you want a written, searchable record.
But here are also a few cautions about electronic messages:
Don’t consider any message as private if you post it to a social media site, tweet it, or email it. Even if you send messages with privacy restrictions, don’t trust that they will remain private. Once you send a message, it is out of your control. Company email systems are the property of the company and may be accessed at any time. In addition, know that hackers or even governments may access any of these communications.
Take a few seconds to re-read your message before you send it. Is the message clear? Have you left out a word or a detail that is important to understanding the message? Is there anything in the message that may be misinterpreted, such as sarcastic, angry, or suggestive language?
Don’t ever send inappropriate jokes or disparaging remarks about an individual or organization.
Are you using the right method? If the message is complicated or could possibly be misunderstood, it may be better to talk with the person rather than texting or emailing.