Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Let No Corrupt Communication Proceed Out of Your Keyboard

In Ephesians 4:29, Paul says, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth." Mouths aren't the only problem when it comes to corrupt communication. Today I'd like to warn against corrupt communication from your keyboard.

Real-life Example 1: An employee learns that he is being fired. He sends out an email to hundreds of fellow employees, including the CEO, harshly criticizing management. This email violates corporate policy on several counts and results in loss of a large severance package that would have been his if he had followed the rules. Ouch.

Real-life Example 2: An employee accidentally selected "reply to all" instead of "reply" in responding to e-mail that was sent to hundreds of employees, including senior management. The employee criticizes her boss in the email. People are unhappy - especially the employee who had to face the consequences of such an ugly mistake.

There are dozens more stories like this that can be told. Email is a terrible thing, often far worse than spoken words, because it leaves a written record that can be seen by many and often misunderstood by many. It may have been funny or clever at first, among those who understood its sarcastic or humorous twist, but under the harsh gaze of other eyes, it may be offensive and damaging to your career. Email can even result in legal disasters, providing a weapon for opponents to blast at you years later.

Email can save all sorts of time, but always remember that it may create a permanent record that can spread like a virus to people you never wanted to see it. For anything sensitive or personal, better use spoken conversation instead.

And for your LDS apologists out there, email communication with anti-Mormons can be dangerous. I've seen many cases where the alleged email of LDS defenders is posted on anti-Mormon Websites to make an attack on the credibility of the defender or to mock LDS beliefs. I've seen my correspondence posted by enemies as well and abused in unkind ways. Now I'm more likely to simply delete questions from obvious anti-Mormons. Why waste my time and create more problems?

Be careful with email. At a minimum, don't throw away tens of thousands of dollars by saying something stupid, even if you're mad. That's corrupt communication indeed.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Before I retired from teaching I emailed a parent saying that a student had good leadership skills. I copied his academic teachers. One of them replied to me and accidently replied to all---including the parent. The teacher remarked that Hitler also had good leadership skills. The complaint went all the way to the Superintendent.

Great reminder and advice Mormanity.

Anonymous said...

A prophetic post, given recent news out of Washington.

Helaman said...

I think we should put 'lore' under this as well...

It amazes me how many times far-fetched stories are passed around from inbox to inbox as if they were the golden truth (and this applies to Mormon lore too).

People are so quick to pass these off as truthful stories without any sort of fact checking. Even worse so when people pass this stuff off as their own.

I've overheard some mormon lore passed off in classes as real things, and even remember hearing of someone putting it in their talk.

Back to the original blog - I wonder how many people only feel bad because they got caught?

Wade said...

Nice reminder Jeff! There's been some controversy surrounding this issue among some of my associates lately.