No, I will not excuse your brevity because you’re sending from your mobile phone

Smartphone auto signatures are not smart

Do we really need all the conveniences modern technology offers us? That debate could be endless, and no one wants a million-word post. However, there are two things that pop up on our mobile phones that I wish we would do without:

  1. “Sent from my BlackBerry”
  2. “Please excuse my brevity/typos/errors. Sent from my iPhone.”
On The Phone

Please excuse my brevity, I’m a dog.

The first one is kind of a shout-out to, well, me, because I think I might be the only person left using a BlackBerry (note: Neither signature is on my ancient, creaky BlackBerry). That’s a whole other issue. Let’s keep to this topic, and start with No. 1. We’re kind of conditioned to this message at this point, and it’s a pain to change settings, etc. Well, I  call foul. If you search it in Google it’ll take one second to find the instructions to remove. And it’s really not that painful. Just delete it.

The second one apparently is a green light to have typos, spelling and grammatical errors in your replies, and implies, “I’m busy person and I’m in a hurry. This is all I can give you right now.” Why give the impression that the conversation isn’t important to you?

As I’ve said before, and even posted about, I am not without grammatical/spelling/typo sin. That said, I vote NO on these auto signatures. They hurt more than they help. When you upgrade your phone, have the service guy at the store take it off before you leave the store. Or look it up online. Get rid of these crutches and take the extra 30 seconds to run through the email and check for errors before you send. Everything you send says something about you, so why not say, “I’m focused on you”?

I was poking around the internets on this topic and found a post from THREE YEARS AGO on this topic, yet it’s still happening. I’m surprised. Are you using one of these messages? Do you think I’m being too nitpicky? Tell me!

Comments

  1. Too nitpicky. But you aren’t wrong.

    I agree it shouldn’t be seen as a crutch. Yet I think it’s great in the event a person sends an incomplete email or their autocomplete goes unknowingly awry.

    Usually, I take great care with every communication I send. Much like this comment. :)

    Sometimes though, I can get caught up in seeing something on my smartphone and respond in a knee-jerk fashion. Emphasis on JERK. There is no signature which can save me from that. I worry more about this scenario than a typo.

    You do have the grammar and punctuation police though. When they cool it, then a campaign to remove the smartphone and tablet signatures would be right for the world.

    • Thanks, Hubert. I agree on the knee-jerk response. I struggle with that, too – I want to be responsive, but sometimes you need a little time to think it through. I have to disagree with the incomplete email and autocomplete comment, though. When you’re just shooting off a message to someone like … me, for example, sentence fragments, abbreviations and typos get a pass. Professional messages, however, need your proofreading eye to keep you looking your best and protect you from the grammar and punctuation police!

  2. Jen,

    First of all thanks for giving me something to think about.
    I must say that my first reaction was that you are being a little bit picky but the reality is that even if most of the people I respond to by e-mail don’t care about the “sent from my I phone” some just might. Whether we want to admit it or not we are representing not only ourselves but the companies we work for. That being said I think it is important to remain professional at all times when responding to our customers, vendors, distributors or clients. I decided to make the change to my phone and it took me less than 2 minutes to delete the “sent from my I phone” message and replace it with a different message that is similar to my PC. Thanks again for giving us all something to think about and keeping us professional.

    • Cool! I’ve heard about 50/50 on it’s a big deal vs. it’s not a big deal. I think everyone’s on the same page in that we want to make sure the person receiving the message knows we’re focused on them.

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