March 20, 2014
Reasons to Proofread Your Texts and Emails


I think I’m pretty normal in the fact that I don’t have a lot of time on my hands, and any possible moment away from an electronic device is a welcome break.  Let’s all band together and make our time spent communicating quicker and more pleasant!

Until they begin to wire communication devices directly into our brains, we have to enter messages with our thumbs or fingertips, but the digital age doesn’t have to be full of frustrations.  It takes the negligence of the user to make electronics truly annoying.

Let’s be honest, almost all of us are guilty of being lazy before hitting “send” sometimes, so this can be a useful personal reminder.  Most people I know wish they didn’t feel so tethered to their phone; maybe these tips can make things go more smoothly, if not more easily.  There is a person on the other end of the line — remember that.  Your frustrations with your device are not their problem, and you shouldn’t dump on them.  (Well, at least not without acknowledging the true source of your frustration, and/or saying something brilliantly hilarious about it.)

Also, feel free to share this post with those pesky culprits in your life who repeatedly send you unclear communications! A whole lot of our connection with others happens electronically now, and there is absolutely no reason to forget mutual respect and etiquette.


Here is my list of reasons why you should proofread all of your texts and emails:

1) If it’s a text, it should only take a few seconds.  If it’s an email, it should only take a few minutes.  So, really, there is no reason not to.  However, if you’re not that easily convinced…

2) Auto-correct sucks.  While the occasional off-the-wall replacement of a word is really funny, most of the time, all it does is confuse the recipient.  Consider the fact that skipping an “h” or switching an “e” with an “r” (right next to each other on the keyboard) will put Tuesday when you meant Thursday or the other way around.  Isn’t it hard enough to keep track of your calendar without difficulty in communicating something as simple as the day of the week?  If you want a response, make sure that your message is as clear as possible.  Who really wants to stop what they’re doing and try to figure out what the heck you’re talking about?

3) Business / legal issues.  Seriously, do you want to say something in writing that you didn’t mean that someone could try to hold you to?  If you get lax in messages to friends and loved ones, you’re more likely to be lazy when it might really count.  Think of how easy it is to type “did,” when you meant to type “did not.”

4) Show people you care.  If you respect your friends’, family members’, and colleagues’ time, a great way to demonstrate that is clear, concise communication.  If you can’t spare the few seconds or minutes to proofread, why do you think the recipient will spare the time to attempt to decipher your message?  Sloppy messaging sends a signal that you don’t care about other people’s time!


5) It’s embarrassing to both parties when communication fails.  We all want to feel heard, and we all want to acknowledge those we care about.  It’s really hard to acknowledge something when I have no flipping idea what you’re on about.

6) Be thoughtful.  If you know someone is driving a car, call them, don’t text them!  If you know someone has certain hours they check email or respond to messages, do your best to respect that.  Or, let them know that you’re sending it at your own convenience, and that there is no hurry for them to reply until it is a good time for them.

7) Slow down.  Sometimes in the rush of the day, we feel the need to reply or send our messages out in a hurry, to check them off our to-do list.  Hello, obsessive-compulsive disorder!  Chill out!  Will you be impeding the other person or yourself from something they or you truly immediately need, if you don’t send a message right this second?  If not, wait until you’re in line somewhere or sitting down to relax before you message people.  And for goodness’ sake, proofread before you hit send!

No one expects you to be perfect.  But a little effort goes a long way.

Do you have any other reasons you might add to this list?  Use the handy share links above, or post your comments below.

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