The New York Times’ Gadgetwise Blog dives into the subject of email misfires, discussing what you should do when someone mistakenly sends you an email meant for someone else. We’re wondering what you would do—whether you’re the sender or receiver.
For her part, Gadgetwise’s Jenna Wortham suggests the following when you’ve received an email by error:
It’s hard enough to field the deluge of daily e-mail messages from colleagues, significant others and friends without the added headache of dealing with a surplus of correspondence from strangers passing along chain e-letters or inquiring about their bacon-of-the-month order status. But your level of obligation depends on both the nature of the note and where it was sent.
“If the message is ‘I am in a life threatening situation….’ it’s one thing,” said [founder of Cc:Betty’s Michael]Cerda. “If it’s ‘what’s the best basketball to buy’ it’s another.”
Basically, Wortham suggests that it’s okay to ignore email mis-fires as long as you’re not ignoring something serious. Seems fair enough, right? I’m not sure I know one person who hasn’t received the occasional email from that friend, coworker, or family member who has an email address off by one initial. I’d ignored mine until two days ago when my email alter-ego’s mother wrote an email asking if he was all right. At that point, a quick and simple, “Hi, I believe you’ve got the wrong email. I hope everything’s all right,” should suffice.
Your thoughts? How do you deal with email misfires (whether you did the firing or you just received the misfire)? Share your suggestions in the comments.
Ethics of E-mail Misfires and Facebook Complications [NYT via Gizmodo]