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Figuring out what email is – XKCD email comic

Today’s email comic is from one of my favorite webcomics: XKCD. It’s a very nerdy, techy, philosophical webcomic run by Randall Munroe. This one is about new year’s resolutions – in this case: figuring out what email is. The XKCD email comic:

xkcd-email-comic

Fax machines, Snapchat…but what about email? It might sound as an odd new year’s resolution, but after all these years, not everyone knows how to handle email. Email is brilliant, but many people use it wrong, which has given it a bad reputation.

For example, people still use the old ‘urgent!’ exclamation mark to give emails an urgency-factor. That’s not what email is meant for. If something, anything is urgent, visit the person involved, or pick up the phone. The beauty of email is that as the receiver, you choose when (and if) you are going to do something with an email. Not the sender.

Also, as there is little emotion and no non-verbal communication to be done in email, any message should be crystal clear. What do you want from the person on the other end? When should it be done? Set expectations of what, how, when and if needed, why. It makes email as a communications platform so much more useful, efficient and easier to handle.

See XKCD’s website for the XKCD email comic, and other comics too of course.

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