pet peeve: what happened to e-mail etiquette?

  Recently,a friend of mine who is running for political office did not check with his staff and they sent  out a giant email to a huge and completely unblinded email list. It was an honest mistake committed in haste. He apologized to all concerned.

It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it actually is. It was an enormous list of email addresses, and a lot of people like to keep their personal and business email addresses separate and off future lists of people they don’t know. A somewhat futile attempt to personal privacy in the electronic age.

Recently I have received a few non-profit solicitation emails from people I have zero connection to. We don’t live near each other, we don’t socialize, we don’t volunteer together. And they were nonprofit things that did not interest me in the least or would  have interested me. One was for a start up non-profit that I had never even heard of.

I decided to figure out what the commonality was and how they would’ve obtained my personal email address. Well, I discovered the commonality and was somewhat disappointed. The commonality is a person who sold me something close to a decade ago. So they would’ve had my email address for business purposes only. We aren’t friends on a personal level. We never socialized together.

I find that somewhat irritating. I volunteer with things that I find of specific interest to me. But in all the years I have been volunteering I have never added anyone’s name to an email list for funds solicitation or an invitation to buy tickets to an event without asking them if it was OK to add their name and email address.

And I certainly have never used addresses obtained for business purposes in this way. And it used to be that people used email etiquette not only in how they framed and phrased and wrote their emails, but to whom they sent them and when and how.

I really think that we should pay more attention to email etiquette whenever possible. We are in an electronic age and a lot of things go via email. We all get so much junk email even with email spam filters.

And besides, if you’re trying to interest someone in a charitable endeavor personal outreach is always preferred at first. That way you find out if the person you are connecting with is even interested in what you are doing. It is much nicer than selling or giving away your email list.

Just my two cents. And if the person I did business with once a decade ago reads this post, please stop giving out people’s email addresses you obtained for business purposes. It’s just not nice.

Thanks for stopping by.