Here's how to practice proper messaging etiquette across all forms of digital communication.
1. If all you have to say in your e-mail reply is "Thanks!" refrain from sending it. You're just clogging an inbox.
2. Long "@" conversations on Twitter bore other followers. Take them to Twitter's Direct Message (DM) or e-mail.
3. Don't use cell phones in a waiting room, checkout line, restaurant, train, or (heaven forbid!) bathroom stall.
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4. When talking to someone in person, don't glance down at your cell phone to see who's trying to reach you.
5. When instant-messaging, always ask if now is a good time to chat.
6. It's OK to piggyback on a neighbor's free Wi-Fi as long as you don't hog it and do realize it's not secure.
7. RSVP to legitimate online invitations promptly.
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8. Things not to do when e-mailing: shout in all caps, use colored fonts or clip-art emoticons, attach large files, forward an e-mail unless appropriate.
9. You can e-mail thank-yous for party invitations and birthday gifts given in person as long as you send each of them separately. (No cc's.) For mailed gifts, letters of recommendation, and wedding presents, a written note is still preferable.
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10. Brag all you want on your Facebook page, but make sure you high-five your friends just as often.
11. Work e-mails can be sent anytime, but business texts should be restricted to one hour before the start of the workday to two hours after it ends, according to The Modern Gentleman.
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12. If you still own an answering machine, make sure the outgoing message isn't annoying or twee.
13. It's OK (and even advisable) to follow your boss on Twitter, but you shouldn't try to friend him on Facebook. Friends implies equivalency; followers, not so.
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