I was watching Oprah the other afternoon, wishing I had a wonderful glass of wine iced tea to enjoy it with. It was about how to handle various social situations. Perhaps, you saw it?
Well, one situation was where a gal found herself in a “real e-mail pickle,” to quote Oprah. She sent an e-mail gossiping about someone…..to the someone she was gossiping about!
Yikes! How to recover from that one?
She was given the advice to never, ever gossip via e-mail again. As a matter of fact, don’t write anything in an e-mail you wouldn’t want to see on the front pages of the NY Times. You know what happens. You send an e-mail. It gets forwarded. Forwarded again.
Even text messaging can produce the same “oops.” In today’s world of mass communication, these blunders are all too common. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has texted our pilot, Blue (yes, that’s his real name), telling him/me how much he misses me, wants to kiss me, wants to……
You get the picture.
As a result, Blue’s job is secure for the rest of his life.
I’ve written e-mails that were forwarded but meant for private eyes. (Just typing “private eyes” makes me suddenly break out into the Hall & Oates song. I’m so not kidding.) Anyway, I’ve also texted the right message to the wrong people.
Another issue that e-mail and text messaging presents is how we interpret the tone of the sender’s voice. That’s why we put the little smiley faces at the end of nearly every sentence these days. As if to say, “Hey! Don’t take me seriously!”
The art of communication can be lost so easily these days. And, the risk of Susie finding out how ugly you thought her dress was last night has never been greater.
Best thing to do? Don’t type it.
Has this ever happened to you?
9 responses to “Gossip Girl”
I have hit reply instead of forward… fortunately the e-mail was a Politically Correct version. I totally agree about the discernment of tone via e-mail, so I will pick up the phone in a heartbeat.
Now if I would just learn to lock my iphone so I would quit randomly and accidentally calling people. Hmmm soounds like a blog title “The Randomness iphone Calls of Scott Williams” lol maybe not!
My tone has gotten lost quite a bit via text and email. Sometimes at work I get so caught up in getting the message sent out to our employees that I lose sight of how my tone my sound and how the email may be interpreted. So later in the afternoon or that evening Rocky or one of the pilots or sometimes even Jimmy will call me and ask if everything is okay between us and I don’t even realize how I have come across! It definately loses it’s pesonal touch when everything is done electronically!
Right you are.
It’s never happened to me but one time a person in the church was complaining to my husband via email and he wanted to ask our pastor if this guy is always so grouchy. Instead of forwarding it to our pastor, he replied to the guy who was complaining.
They left the church.
I have never made the mistake but had to warn others that their emails were being sent to me…..wayyyyyy NOT coolllllllllllll
My crasness is constantly misunderstood by people that don’t know me very well—i need to learn “text speak”.. i type like i talk, evidently it is none too flattering…..i feel like sarah palin with all my 😉 winks!
Yep, it’s happened to me before. I replied sarcastically to a client at work when I meant to FORWARD my brilliant wit to a coworker… Not.good. (But I am still employed.)
Oh, Yes, my first job out of college. I mean’t to respond to a coworker with a horrible and disgusting joke…I accidently sent it to my boss. I had to beg the computer guru in my office to say there was some work he needed to fix on my bosses computer…thankfully he deleted in time for me. However, I did have to spend a dinner listening to the guru talk for hours about himself (and pay).
I learned at a very young age…never, never, never put in writing anything that you would not want the WHOLE world to see and then we did not have email and text messaging….regarding tone…if I ever have a situation that is somewhat touchy…I prefer making a phone call….
Google just came out with Mail Goggles. It’s supposed to be used with a timer set for late at night on weekends for when you may come home slightly tipsy. You basically have to solve several math problems before the email is sent otherwise it stores it for you to review in the morning and tells you to sleep it off. Maybe they’ll come out with a version for gossiping?