Friday, December 12, 2014
Two Sony executives have apologized for remarks they made in e-mails that hackers exposed to the world. One wonders if anyone ever told them that what they write in an e-mail is sent to the world and not just another party because one loses control after hitting the send button. It is E-mail 101. Never write in an e-mail what you don't want to see in a headline. This basic lesson is one that I hammer at students in business communications class. Yet, people don't learn or easily forget. Why? Because they treat e-mail as a stream of consciousness, a continuation of conversation, that doesn't require the same attention as a formal letter. E-mail is a dangerous medium for that reason. One should treat it as a sharp tool. Handle with care.