EOM… and short emails

EOM seems to be the rage. That is an email with just something in the subject and nothing in the body, or a statement like [no reply necessary] or [end of message] at the end of the subject line.

These messages always seem to be quirky to me. Here is why: EOM messages usually cut out context, but in non-verbal communication context is needed more than ever because humans need context to form appropriate responses.

For instance at work I have some colleagues who send links in the subject fields of the email message and say [no reply necessary] at the end of the subject line. Now, my question is, does the colleague want me to visit the website? I would infer yes they do. But now does my colleague want me to comment on the content or design of the website with an analysis of how these things might pertain to our context or current project? Does the sender of the message just want me to live with the knowledge that this information exists… Well, the implication is that the colleague would want me to do the analysis but the unclear part is should I type a response? If I type a response then am I violating the expectation of the sender to not receive a reply? Or does [no reply necessary] really mean that no reply is necessary, but a reply is acceptable or further conversation on this topic is welcome.

The [no reply necessary] message dose not specifically address the context of openness of the sender to a reply or further discussion.

This leads to confusion on appropriate and available options to the recipient of the [EOM] message.

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