How you email says a lot about you

How you communicate by email dictates the way other people judge you socially, according to a new survey by free email provider GMX.

More than half (54%) of Brits surveyed said they judge people on the style of emails they receive, forming opinions on aspects such as the sender’s intelligence, age and social status. The survey of 1900 UK consumers found that email psychology is commonplace in Britain, with one in three adults admitting to purposefully adapting the language and style of their emails to create their own ‘email image’.

Intelligence was the most common aspect to be judged (40%) rising to 54% in 25-34-year-olds, followed by age (20%) and social status (16%).

Forty-one per cent of workers in Britain say they are regularly offended or are upset by emails sent by colleagues, according to a survey.

Employees take offence from one-line replies, rude typos and receiving emails that aren’t relevant to their job or contain too much information.

The survey also suggests a significant proportion of the public now admit to adapting their email style or tone in order to create a desired image. One third of adults (33 per cent) manage their emails to have an effect on how they are perceived, with ‘intelligence’, ‘authority’ and ‘calmness’ the most desirable aspects of email image. Women are twice as likely to feign cheerfulness as men, with a quarter of women admitting to using a false tone and symbols such as smiley-faces to mask their true feelings.

Significantly, younger generations are far more inclined to both adapt their own image over email (66 per cent), and use email as a way to avoid stressful conversations – more than 40 per cent of 16-24 and 25-34-yr-olds use email for this purpose; a quarter send emails to deliberately avoid social contact with certain individuals.

Showing how much of a part of daily life email has become, the survey suggests 36% approach romantic suitors via email, while 18% of under 25s would end a relationship via email.

Many Britons now use their inbox as a shield against emotional or stressful dialogues. A large number of Britons now purposefully choose an email over face-to-face or telephone conversation for emotional or stressful communication. For example, 30 per cent regularly rely on email to converse with institutions and companies that make them nervous. Some 27% of respondents would prefer to use an email to announce a major life decision to family. Once again, women appear more affected than men, and are twice as likely to use an email to say ‘no’ to friends or family then men.

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