Do you have technology manners?

fyi_snub_etiquette Have you thought about whether your manners are good or bad, where technology is concerned. What is your Netiquette IQ?  How would you grade your text, email, voicemail manners?  Do you even know what they should be? Martha Irvine asks just these questions in her article Email, voicemail, text_no response.  What Gives?

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After reading her article, I thought it might not be a bad idea for me to investigate what are considered some of the things you should and should not do.  It turns out some of the suggestions I found have been around for some time.  PC World,  had guidelines as far back as 2009.  Check out these summaries, and then click the link for more detailed descriptions.

Text Message Manners
Too many texts?
…A good rule of thumb is to consider how many times you would be comfortable calling the same person in a day. Think of each text conversation as a phone call and ask yourself whether you are imposing on the other person.

The “other people” factor.

…It is not necessarily rude to text while you’re in the presence of others–if the point of the text message is to involve the recipient in the physical gathering. On the other hand, communicating extensively via text when you should be fully engaged in what’s going on in the real world will surely annoy those around you.

A reply is not always needed.
It is acceptable to respond to a text message with a phone call, an e-mail message, or any other form of communication. The recipient is free to choose the medium of the response, or even whether to respond at all. Similarly, there is no strict rule governing how promptly a person should respond to a text or instant message. The recipient may reply at any convenient time, though in general text messaging and IM are most appropriate for subjects of some urgency.
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Email Manners
Mind the spam. Distribution lists are a godsend for getting the word out about something en masse, but take care not to spam your recipients.

Carefully consider who gets a reply. “Reply to all” is a powerful but widely abused e-mail feature. When more than four or five recipients are involved, you should use “reply to all” only if the message is of critical importance to the vast majority of those listed.

Out of office messages are more useful than you think. Arranging to send an automated “out of office” e-mail response to anyone who sends you a message can be a big time saver for people who are trying to get in touch with you.

Forget not the power of the pen. These days, whether you’re sending a thank-you note or a simple greeting, a handwritten note will have much greater impact than a dashed-off e-mail message.
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Voicemail Manners
Brevity is key. The average person can read a message at least three times faster than you can speak it, so most listeners find every second they spend listening to voicemail agonizingly tedious. One commonly cited maximum tolerable length for a voicemail message is 30 seconds.

Simplicity swings both ways. Having a short outgoing message is a simple but extremely important to avoid angering your callers. Don’t fill your outgoing message with alternate phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Instead offer callers one alternative means of reaching you (either a cell phone number or an e-mail address, usually). If someone urgently needs to track you down, they will find you.

Just pick up the handset. Never leave a voicemail message for someone while you’re speaking through a speakerphone.
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I hope this is helpful 🙂