Friday, September 21, 2012

To signature or not to signature

Since the inception of mobile mail applications, we started to see things like this show up at the end of emails:

Sent from my iPad
Sent from my Blackberry Wireless Handheld
Sent from my iPhone

This is called an email signature. Many of us have used the email signature for a long time to include details like contact information, title, etc. Many mobile devices default the signature to something like those listed above - I think for obvious advertising space.

If you're like me, the first time you saw something like "Sent from my iPhone 4S," you probably thought of many adjectives to describe the person that sent said email - namely: smug. However, I'm convinced that this appears at the bottom of most emails because many people 1) Have no idea how to get rid of it, or 2) Don't want to spend time figuring out how to get rid of it. Rather than spend time teaching you how to get rid of it (you could find a link from Google in 3.4 seconds), this post has more to do with the philosophical side of signatures. When I first got into the iPad game, I immediately took off the signature to eliminate the smugness factor. Then I heard some reasons (that you'll see below) that made me rethink it, so I put it back on.

About a day after adding the signature, it was included in an email to a family member. At the end of his reply to my email he inserted the following:

Sent from my laptop

- confirming my initial thoughts on the whole subject. I then sent this email back to him:

All right...the "Sent from my iPad" takes a little explanation (and I deserve a "Sent from my laptop"). I had taken that signature off for a long time because I was always a little annoyed when people had that on the bottom of an email - somewhat braggy. Or I just thought that perhaps they didn't know how to take it off of there. I later heard someone say that there is some etiquette when emailing from a mobile device. If you leave that on there, people are slightly more forgiving on spelling/punctuation errors. They also know that you may not be able to respond quickly because you sent it "on the go." I thought those were reasons enough, but after your response, you've confirmed what I've thought all along. I'm taking it off again. Thank you,

To which he replied:

People should never be forgiving about speling / punctuation errors:
I thoroughly enjoyed your well-rounded reasoning...

To which I replied:

Eye ugreee aboat knot forgiveing spehling airors...
Sent from my Dell Latitude E5520

So if you agree with some of the reasoning stated above to include a signature, perhaps you could consider changing your signature to "Sent from a mobile device" (a colleague of mine does this). Or perhaps you believe that the ten hours you spent waiting in line for your mobile device deserves the reward of including the device name in your signature. So be it.

1 comment:

  1. I have also seen a little bit of humor using these signature (besides the "sent from my laptop"). One great example I've seen: "Sent from ye olde iPhone"