Do You Really Want to Send That Flaming Email?

flaming emailYikes! Did you hear about the crazy sorority-girl email rant? An officer of the Delta Gamma sorority at the University of Maryland sent a scathing email to her sisters accusing them of unsavory behavior at sorority events (to put it nicely). The email is full of uppercase letters, profanity and complete disrespect on every level. It takes a lot to surprise me these days and this email made me gasp out loud. Take a look for yourself if you haven’t read it! Here are some important take-aways from the nasty email:

7 Important Email Lessons

1) You should definitely think twice before hitting send. Once you post, send, share content on the Internet, it’s there forever. Justin Bieber recently learned this lesson too.

2) If you are unhappy with someone’s behavior, don’t get personal. This is a tough one, I know. Calling someone an idiot will most likely generate a like response which will just get you madder. Write about the behavior in question instead of the person. You should also use phrases like, “it’s been my experience”, etc.

3) This is an important one that I’m guilty of: Tone does not translate well in email so don’t be sarcastic. This is like getting the one letter text message: “K”.

4) Anything you send in an email can and will be used against you! Emails can be forwarded to friends, bosses, CNN, you get the point.

5) NEVER USE ALL CAPITALS. I don’t need to explain that one.

6) Don’t send an email when you are angry. Emotional emails will make you look stupid and you won’t accomplish anything. Anger cancels out reason. 

7) If you feel the need to send an angry email, wait two days. I learned this lesson from my favorite HR manager. Chances are you’ll write a much nicer email after 48 hours.

I feel a bit sorry for the Delta Gamma sister as I bet she’s a nice person underneath all those capitals; however, the Internet isn’t as kind. Michael Fertik, founder of, said it best, “The Internet is forever. Unfortunately for her, her ‘online tattoo’  will stick with her for a long, long time — and it will likely color how peers, future employers, grad school admissions officers, etc., regard her as a person.”

Have you sent a flaming email in the past? Can you laugh about it now?

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  • Datis

    Great post. I love point 7, especially from a business standpoint.

  • Yes, Samantha, I’ve hit “send” on a note that I later wished I could get back! Still not sure I can laugh about it yet. Like you said, it doesn’t go away quickly! Thanks for the good pointers.

  • thank you. I found really useful. hope there will be more than half

  • Thank you very much. “7 Important Lessons Email” is what I found necessary