The Future of Online Etiquette Is Already Here—It's Just Unevenly Distributed

Photograph by John Fedele

As anyone who has missed an important e-mail knows by now, modern communications etiquette represents a minefield of unspoken expectations and potential anxiety-inducing behavior. If you need further proof, all you have to do is look at some of the responses to a recent blog post by New York Times writer Nick Bilton about his approach to e-mail, voice mail, and texting: Some reacted with distaste bordering on horror, while others cheered his take on the topic. Part of the problem is that different users look at these tools differently—and in some cases, have wildly different views of what is appropriate and what isn’t.

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