By Sunny Simon
Believe it or not, I still use email. Okay, I realize that’s not cool according to hot-shot techies like Justin Rosenstein, founder of Asana, a work software startup in Silicon Valley. If it’s all the same to you, Mr. Rosenstein, I’m keeping email. Judging from the number of messages in my inbox, others agree. It’s interesting to know you’ve developed a superhot work chat tool, but many of us will still pay homage to this 40 year old digital communication mode.
I use email for both business and pleasure. Rosenstein might find this odd, but I don’t find writing in complete sentences and multiple paragraphs the least bit counter-productive.
Email as a mode of communication is not only relevant, but civilized. We can express ideas, emote and spread goodwill when we are not shortcutting thoughts and using made-up words.
My friend Nancy is one of the kindest people I know. She believes that benevolence and thoughtfulness expressed in emails makes the world a little brighter and I support that notion.
Recently I received this message from Nancy “I just want to thank you for role-modeling a kinder form of correspondence. While working for the government for many years my emails were always to the point with no superfluous wording. Sunny, you always take the time to thank people and to show kindness. I know that in the government the extra wording would not have been appreciated. Now that I am a civilian I use words that make life more pleasant. You taught me that kindness in business is as important as efficiency and facts.”
Last week I learned an acceptable way to improve my emails from my friend Kippy, an online business manager. She recommends coupling emojis with the written word. In a blog posting, Kippy advised “emojis compensate for the lack of body language in our digital communications.” Although Kippy doesn’t condone overstuffing messages with those cute little funny faces, she believes that used correctly, emojis “go a long way to ensure our readers interpret our meaning in the tone we intended.”
Don’t misunderstand, I am devoted to email but I’m also multi-channeled. Of course I text and utilize social media. Depending on my message, I select the most appropriate form of communication. But, my bottom line is, Rosenstein and company can continue developing the 21st century’s digital answer to Pitman shorthand, but just don’t expect me to delete my email account anytime soon.
Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching and the author of the blog www.lifeonthesunnyside.net