• RJS

The most dangerous...


I remember my surprise, when I first read (possibly it was in one of the Tarzan books I read as a child) that the most dangerous creature on earth is Man, Homo Sapiens.

As a member of the human race, I felt personally insulted.

When I read justifications to this claim, I felt there may be some point to this claim.

Want to read more about it? just google... (or click here).

But that is NOT the subject of this post...

You see, part of the claims talk about how humans invent weapons that are much worse than what's needs, and use them much more than what is needed.

Other times it'll be about how "unintentionally" we (humans) do something with "unintended" harsh results.

I'd like to talk about one of these tools.

I'd like to talk about email - and what a dangerous mode of communication it is.

I dare claim that:

The most dangerous communication method is email. (Or, for many of us, Chat/IM/Whatsapp etc.)

In this entertaining 1984(ish) video explaining about email (and the 12 easy steps to get on email), I don't think the creators or viewers (at the time) realized the possible damages of email.


The reason is that while the written word can convey emotions, thoughts, feelings - it often doesn't do so, at least no successfully.

That's due to two main reasons:

  1. It requires many more words to accurately express yourself in writing - and the written word usually does not express the tone of your voice, or the smile on your face, or your overall expression. And not the fact you wrote the email at 2am, full of beer, and just had to shoot out that email you didn't want to forget.

  2. Most of us don't have the talents, know-how, drive - or even patience to do so And as a result, we many times write a brief message, that can (and will) be misinterpreted/misunderstood.

(If you're not sure you agree, just google for "misunderstood emails examples" or "how to avoid email misunderstanding")

So what can we do about it?

  1. Be aware. The first rule to weapon safety is being aware of the dangers of the weapon.

  2. Where possible, talk to people... That's anyway a good advice, to leave your life, and not to leave it virtually - but it's even more valuable in the context of the dangers of email (or chat...)

  3. Use the written word to provide information - not interpretation. Offer the interpretation/context before sending the email, and open the email with "Following our conversation..."

Good luck!

#culture #workplace #workplaceetiqette

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