Mediated communication is a form of communication in which a medium is used to pass the message from the sender to the recipient. The Internet is one such medium, which has been used to facilitate communication. Electronic mail or email is one form of mediated communication options available over the Internet. It can be used for both professional and social purposes (McKay, 2012). Other Internet communication options are social media such as Facebook and Tweeter.
Like any other form of communication, there are certain rules, which have to be applied. Email etiquette should be applied when using email for both professional and social reasons. Learning about these rules, understanding them and applying them are crucial to effective use of emails. These rules may come across as common sense; however, they are forgotten or ignored when creating and sending emails. A lesson in email etiquette is therefore helpful for all users, especially when used for work or other professional reasons (Marques, 2010). Social email also requires observation of similar rules, but the content is not as strict as work related communication.
A professional email should have work related content; carry the right tone, spelling and grammar (McKay, 2012). The subject of a work related email should be confined within professional matters. The content should be presented concisely and clearly. Care should be taken in the choice of words to avoid coming across as disrespectful or demanding. Before sending the email, check for spelling mistakes using a dictionary or a spell checker just to be sure. It is also polite to ask the recipient before attaching an additional file or document to the email. This is because the risk of exposure to viruses may prevent the recipient from opening attachments, which may be extremely beneficial. Finally, employees should not use their professional email addresses to send non-work related materials to friends, family, colleagues and associates.
In my computer-mediated communication, I will pay more attention to the content. The tone of a letter is not easy to identify especially if one is not paying attention to it. I will also avoid being overly friendly especially with associates with whom I am constantly in communication with. With familiarity come contempt and a certain disregard for rules. This is not proper for professional relationships where personal relationships are secondary to business relationships. Finally, I will always check my work for spelling and grammar mistakes before inserting the recipient's address and sending an email. This is because it is extremely easy to send a mail full of mistakes if the recipient’s address if put in before proof reading and editing. This will help me become a better and more professional user of emails as a form of computer mediated communication.
Marques, J. F. (2010). Enhancing the quality of organizational communication: A presentation of reflection-based criteria. Journal of Communication Management, 47 - 58.
McKay, D. R. (2012). Tips for writing Professional Email. Retrieved from http://careerplanning.about.com/od/communication/a/email_tips.htm