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Email is such a super tool! It has changed the way we communicate. I can easily stay in touch with people all over the world instantly by email, where a letter would take a long time and a phone call would be too expensive.
Sadly, this great tool can be abused. This ruins the experience for all of us.
With that in mind, here are ten ways NOT to use email. Please stay away from these and keep email the great communication tool that it is!
1. Do not spam. You've received the email offers that read, "Millions of email addresses" for a cheap price. It sounds good. But don't do it. Those people didn't give you permission to send emails to them. Do not spam.
Instead, build up a list of people who have given you permission to email them. You'll be better all the way around!
2. Do not flame. Flaming is responding to spam or an email in an angry manner.
For some, the privacy of email becomes the opportunity to be much more rude than they would in person.
Don't stoop to such levels! If you have a problem with someone, discuss it with them in a calm, civilized manner, whether in person or through cyberspace.
3. Do not respond to spam. If you respond to spam, you are doing two things: a. You're letting the spammer know that your email address is valid and you may receive more email. b. You're giving the spammer more reason to spam even more by responding.
Just say no, and hit the delete button.
4. Do not respond to flames. People will get angry at something and email everyone in the world to let them know how they feel.
I remember one time when a hacker hacked into a list that I was subscribed to, and sent a bunch of messages to the group.
Well, a bunch of the subscribers got angry and started sending their flames out to the group, making the problem that much worse. All of us ended up with hundreds of unwanted and duplicate emails.
You've got better things to do than that!
5. Do not expose a large group of email addresses in your email header. There's a way to send to a group without exposing all the email addresses. Simply place the addresses in the Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) line of your email program.
That will hide those addresses and shield those folks from unwanted email.
6. Do not reply to exposed emails. It's tempting, I know--but resist the urge to email all those nice email addresses someone exposed in sending an email to you.
You don't have their permission, and the person sending the email obviously didn't read this article!
7. Do not spread urban legends. No, I didn't wake up in my bathtub with ice all around me with one kidney gone and Bill Gates is not paying me $200 for forwarding an email.
I'm glad someone has a great imagination. I just wish they'd put it to better use!
8. Do not spread viruses. It's easier to do than you think.
Someone gave me a virus and fortunately it was a fairly harmless one. I sent an attachment to a friend and his antivirus program caught it. He let me know and I immediately got some antivirus software and got rid of it.
And he's still my friend! But make sure you're not spreading viruses through your email.
9. Do not spread hype. "Cough once and make a million dollars." Okay I made that one up, but I'm sure you seen others just as ridiculous.
Like Joe Friday, I want "just the facts."
10. Do not overdo it. I don't want to be worried to death by one person emailing me over and over again for no reason. Yes, sometimes repetition is good, but don't needlessly clog up email boxes with the same message over and over.
If it's moving a project or conversation forward, that's another matter. But even then, there may come a time when you need to switch to a chat or instant messaging format.
Or even use that ancient invention, the telephone!
Keep email the great experience it can be and stay away from all these things!