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5 Online Etiquette Rules That Everyone Should Follow

Five tips that are so easy to overlook yet so basic in keeping up with the etiquette of communications in the cyber world.

With the current rapid increase use of technology such as tablets, smartphones, social media and email correspondences, face-to-face meetups have been made, not quite redundant, however, way lesser than what it used to be.  Professionals most time do not see the person they are dealing with physically. This is all well and good, but manners and etiquette still need to be kept. If anything else, communicating online needs more effort to ensure whatever that is being said will not be misinterpreted or misunderstood.

Here are some of my techno-correspondence etiquette tips or what I prefer to call e-correspondence netiquette :

Brevity. Have you ever received an email that is so long-winded that you lost track of what the sender actually wanted to say?  I had and it was not fun; reading and re-reading the same email until I get the gist of it. The thing about online communication is that brevity is expected; it needs to be on-point and straightforward.  Having said that, make sure sentences are written in full. Avoid a “yes”, “no” or one-word answers; this might come across as curt.

Language. Professional language and style need to be used when sending business email and texts.  Avoid casual language, fancy fonts, emoticons and anything that conveys relaxed style. Be careful with humour which may be misunderstood.  Offensive language should never be used at all time; even if you are pally to the person you’re sending the email to.

Response time. In general, emails or correspondences should be replied within the same business day.  Of course, you might have other pressing matters to attend to first or in some cases, immediate reply to an email might not be necessary.

Reply all. Respecting the privacy of your contacts is really important.  Be aware when clicking on the ‘reply all’ function. Each email needs to be handled consciously.  In many situations, you need to only send a reply to the sender; not the rest on the list. Imagine if you have clicked on “reply all” rather confidential or personal information.

Out of the office. Before you go away for an extended period, put up messages on your emails and phone systems indicating your absence and your return date and who should be contacted during your absence,

So there you go, five tips that are so easy to overlook yet so basic in keeping up with the etiquette of communications in the cyber world.

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Zu Anjalika Kamis Gunnulfsen

Zu Anjalika Kamis Gunnulfsen is the Marketing In Asia's Editor for Singapore. She is also a certified Image Branding & Lifestyle Consultant. Born in Singapore and blessed to have lived in a couple of other amazing cities in the world, Anjalika is currently expatriating in Kuala Lumpur. Follow her on LinkedIn and Instagram. You may also reach her by email at anjalika@marketinginasia.com.

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