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Electronic Etiquette

By ale Aguirre

Now a days, we have many options to communicate. Do you remember when you went out into the street and there were no cell phones? Nothing happened and  it was not a matter of life or death situation to locate people. Today, we carry a cell phone everywhere, and place it on the table if you're in a restaurant, or if you're in a meeting, you take it out of the bag in order to listen when it rings. What about when you get an email in the BlackBerry you feel you need to  respond inmediately. It seems that instant messages, have preference over the person that is with us!
 Sending text messages or via Blackberry is an alternative to not interrupt the person with a call if they are busy. But somehow, we are demanding of them to answer inmediatley and that means, that the they will have to be distracted from what they are doing to answer us.

 And so, I can go on explaining how the emails that arrive to your phone, need to be answered from wherever you are, and when you know that someone always carries the cell phone at hand, you then assume it's rude  that they don’t  answer promptly.
 This is why  I am  enlisting some tips to apply some tools, and thus consider not only our needs and our time, but that of other’s too.  

If not urgent, you can send an instant message or email to get information. If you think that it must be addressed inmediately, you better call the person you’re trying to reach. It is a safer way of assuring that the person knows it is important and that it should be attended  at the moment. Remember that there are messages that are SPAM, get stuck on the server, or simply pass without being read.

When talking on the phone to someone else, always ask if they are busy and if they can take the call, do not go off speaking immediately after they answer.

If the message you send is not answered immediately, it could be because  the person cannot attend. Do not insist sending more messages.

When you send an email, assume that they will answer when they read. You can let a day or two pass and try again if you think they could not read it, ask for confirmation of receipt.

When you receive a message by phone, be careful not to stop paying attention to the person you are with. If it is of most importance that you answer,let the other person know you are   going to reply to the  urgent message. Otherwise, you are sending a wrong message that what he is saying is not as important as what you are going to reply.

If you cannot answer immediately, be sure to do it later, it is also important for the other person to know, that his request is relevant to you. You should not show lack of interest in not answering. A message must be answered within 24 hours if possible.

When you receive a call and you're with someone, let them know from the beginning that you are about to receive an important call and  apologize before hand for taking it.

Preferably, when you're with other people, mute your phone and put it on vibrate so as not to interrupt the meeting.

Remember, even at social events, it is essential not to be answering the phone and taking messages, this has become "mobile meeting" and has taken away the quality time in personal interactions. The people around you also want your attention.
 Our children see these actions as normal, how could you explain to them or your subordinates this is not right, when you always do the same?

Ale Marroquín Oficina: (55) 1088 9336  Móvil: 044 (55) 5456 3423 E-mail: