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E-mail Etiquette

A comprehensive introduction to the etiquette of using e-mail.


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There is little doubt that e-mail is an extremely useful innovation that has changed, and continues to change, the way we communicate. However, the fact that e-mail is different from both voice- and paper-based communication can be a source of frustration for many people.

This program gives viewers an understanding of the conventions that have been developed by e-mail users over the years to facilitate effective communication. In addition, the video exposes many of the myths that exist regarding such issues as e-mail privacy, and warns of possible dangers when using e-mail. The words “spamming” and “flaming” may not make sense to everyone, but chances are they’ve come across examples of this type of behavior in their e-mail usage. The animated “cyber postman,” who features throughout the video, has seen every example of bad e-mail usage you could imagine. With his assistance we provide a comprehensive introduction to the etiquette of using e-mail.

Video Segments

1. Nature of E-Mail Unlike verbal communications, e-mail does not communicate voice inflections. E-mail exists somewhere between verbal and written communication.

2. E-Mail Style E-mail is generally not as structured and grammatically correct as a regular written document. The subject line should be relevant to the message of the e-mail, and the main body of the message should be short and concise.

3. Emoticons and Acronyms Acronyms are abbreviated from the first letters of words such as "FYI" instead of "for your information." Emoticons are combinations of keyboard symbols that can express smiling, sadness, winking, or indifference.

4. E-Mail Privacy System administrators and hackers represent a possible breach of privacy. The e-mail recipient could forward sensitive messages to thousands of other people. For this and other reasons, it is important to carefully consider the content of e-mail messages.

5. E-Mail Flaming Flaming is the act of personally attacking someone via e-mail, something particularly common in news groups. The recipient of insulting e-mails may delete the messages or use the computer's filter system to block undesirable senders.

6. E-Mail Spam Spam messages are transmitted to large numbers of people, most of whom have not requested the messages. Spammers often send e-mail with viruses that can corrupt a computer system or infect other people's e-mail.

7. E-Mail Dangers The anonymity of e-mail brings out the worst in some people, such as pedophiles posing as children in order to attract other children. Unscrupulous people also use e-mail to defraud others or steal their identities.


Grade: 6-8, 9-12

E-mail Etiquette (DVD)
© 2000
Time: 20 Minutes

Product Total: $0.00