Response to two student’s posts.

Original questions.

1) When do you use e-mail?

2) Has it changed your phone/interpersonal communication habits?

3) When do you feel obligated to respond to someone? When is it a burden? A convenience?

4) What can you say over e-mail that you wouldn’t say in person? Where’s the dividing line?

5) What sort of email etiquette are you aware of, especially when addressing your instructors?

Student A’s answer

  1. I would say that I use my e-mail very rarely. I use e-mail when I have to communicate with my professors or with the people I work with. Other than that, I use e-mail to subscribe to certain things I like in order to get special benefits from stores. I feel like e-mail is only for professional matters, and that for most things, I can just text message instead.
  2. I do not believe that e-mail has changed my phone/interpersonal communication habits. I still rather use any other form of communication over e-mail. For instance, I use Snapchat, text, and Instagram as means of communication way more than I use e-mail.
  3. I have always felt that responding to someone as soon as possible is important. I do not think that it is right to wait a long period of time to answer someone, especially when it may be an answer that is needed right away. Because of that, I try my best to answer quickly. I try not to look at answering anyone as a burden. If it is at a time of convenience, I try my best to answer. The only times I may not answer is if I get a message that does not need a response or if I am too busy to answer.
  4. I do not think that there should be anything that is able to be said on any over-the-phone conversation that can not be said in person. People should be comfortable to actually say more in person than they do on e-mail. However, oftentimes this is not the case as people like to hide things in person and feel more comfortable saying stuff over the phone. A lot of people may be scared for whatever reason and find it easier to say things over the phone. I have had my fair share of these problems and I have actually worked on being more genuine in person. I believe that everyone should work on themselves to be more honest and willing to talk about everything in person, and not save it for e-mail or text. Therefore, I believe that there is no dividing line.
  5. I am aware of the etiquette needed to send the proper e-mail. I believe that e-mail is a professional way to speak to professional people, therefore it is essential that one addresses the other person whom they are sending the e-mail in a respectable manner. First off, it is important to properly greet the person over e-mail. I always start my e-mails saying hello and asking how the other person is doing. Furthermore, it is important to make sure to speak in full sentences, with proper grammar and spelling. One must also be sure to be clear and not drag on the main point. Mainly, it is important to be kind and respectable in order to get the response that is desired. Do to those like how you would like be done to you is my motto.

Student B’s answer

1) I use e-mail mainly for formal purposes when I want to communicate with colleagues I don’t know and people from work. I don’t use e-mail to catch up with friends because there are other, more accessible programs that send the type of messages I want to communicate faster and with ease, like Discord or Instant Messenger. I use e-mail when I want to cover another person’s shift or when I want to send myself a file for future use. The majority of my time on Gmail is spent receiving messages rather than sending them. I believe e-mail has been delegated to formal uses because “instant messaging… enables typed conversations in real time.” (Campbell, Martin & Fabos, 2014, p 43)

2) E-mail personally hasn’t changed my interpersonal communication habits because I would much rather use other applications. I use e-mail strictly for formal purposes, so its presence hasn’t changed the ways I use media as a whole. If e-mail hadn’t existed, however; I would be mailing my co-workers letters instead of communicating what I need to say with a simple click. Even though I use e-mail for a singular purpose, it serves its purpose well and I haven’t had any problems during the times I’ve used it.

3) The amount in which I feel obligated to respond to someone depends on the urgency of the message, in that if a person wants a quick reply, I’ll try to respond as fast as possible, but if the message doesn’t need to be answered at a fast rate, I’ll hold off to think of the best answer. Messages become a burden to respond to when they want an answer they already know. I understand the problem when there are two options that are equally viable and the sender wants to pick the best one, or when someone wants to be consoled, but when someone wants an answer from me but they know what they need to do already, I don’t know what to say to them. Its convenient to respond to someone when it solves a problem that can be done in e-mail.

4) I wouldn’t notify my boss in person every time I want to cover a shift at work because e-mail is more convenient and it saves everyone’s time. The dividing line with e-mail is whether the message is more convenient being sent by e-mail than another medium.

5) I’m aware that one should be formal and concise with one’s e-mails and get to the point to avoid wasting the recipient’s time.

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