family & email etiquette


I don’t know about you, but my family is spread across the globe. We use social media to stay connected, and it’s so awesome. I get to see pictures of babies, read about graduations, and learn about my cousins and distant relatives who are rock stars.

Unfortunately, the dark side of this connectivity means that many family members (including me) violate the norms of etiquette because we make assumptions about the readers, the shared history, and the appreciation (or lack thereof) of nuance.

I believe in assuming good intent, but email totally sucks as a mechanism to communicate. My favorite example of this happened recently. It’s a random weekday night, I’m chatting with one of Scrubby’s buddies on Twitter, and I receive an email message from a distant relative who wants to re-litigate a family issue from 1964.

  • I wasn’t even alive and I don’t care… but okay, thanks for blind copying me on the correspondence.

Is your family like this? Are you hyperconnected through social media tools? Does email become a passive-aggressive way to continue the family battles that will not die? Have you created a Facebook family page where you can just hash this shit out like social media gladiators?

Or is this just my crazy existence?

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