The Sony leaks are a little embarrassing for everyone. Especially publishers who have to defend why they’re publishing the information or figure out if they want to continue doing so. But the most embarrassed? I think anyone whose email you’ve read. Which is why this might be the best advice you’ll ever receive:
Dance like no one is watching; email like it may one day be read aloud in a deposition.
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) December 13, 2014
It’s not even the content of the emails that’s bad, although I wish we didn’t know that Kevin Hart wanted $3 million to tweet or that Aaron Sorkin has a love life. It’s more the style, as Channing Tatum might attest. Have you seen this one? Even some of the back and forth between execs (not that I’ve spent much time reading them, really) is cringeworthy. Not because they’re saying horrible things, though they are, but how they abbreviate words like a teenage girl or overuse ellipses.
You never know who’s going to read your email eventually. Who isn’t guilty of an exclamation point use? Or a sideways smiley face? This is why I don’t answer emails on holidays. I don’t want to be caught off guard after a little egg nog and write “ahahahahaha” to a colleague by mistake. Social media posts are one thing — they can be deleted, they are a one-off. But sounding silly in email is an entirely different animal. It’s a reflection of your thought process and how you express yourself. So next time you hit “reply all,” make sure you sound like your best self. You don’t want to be like Tatum — it’s far from “adorable.”