Dear readers, let me be clear: I’m a polite person. I put my napkin on my lap. I open doors for the elderly. I don’t use my cell phone in the bathroom.
But I’m a minimalist when it comes to thanking people—especially when it comes to social media and online communication.
The sheer volume of thank-yous exchanged through tweets, Facebook posts and everyday emails has devalued what it truly means to be thanked.
If you’re going to thank someone, you should do it when he or she goes above and beyond what you originally anticipated, exceeds your expectations or brings some kind of special joy to your day.
If you can, do it in person.
Think about how much time you’ve wasted thanking people for doing routine, mundane tasks. Maybe your time would’ve been better spent if you had just written one deserving person a handwritten thank-you note.
1. Saying ‘thanks’ to close an email
I’m guilty of doing this, but when you write “Thanks, Freddy,” after you asked Freddy for a favor, it implies that you expect him to do the favor—even if that wasn’t your intention. I’m not alone on this one.