Email is a popular communication tool for sending instant text messages and digital files from one computer to another. An email is first composed then sent and received over a network using the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).
The origin of email can be traced back to 1965 before the Internet was born. It began as a way to send text messages between two computers. As the popularity of email grew, so did its flexibility. A single email can now be sent to more that two computers at a time. For example, a user can send a single email to multiple recipients using a distribution list. Email can now also contain HTML code, graphic files, different fonts and colors, animation, sound and more. Just as pictures and objects can be sent through postal mail, users can also send such files electronically by attaching them to an email. Most email programs allow attachments and make it easy to send attachments. All a user has to do is locate the file on their local computer and upload it to the email server and send it.
The use of email has become an effective communication tool for businesses and individuals. It allows for instant communication, thus saving time and money that would otherwise be spent on traditional methods of sending mail. This has helped businesses and individuals operate more efficiently and cut costs.
Email etiquette has become a topic of interest and addresses the proper way to compose an email. While email has proven to be an effective tool for communication, there have been clarity issues. Since email is text-based, it can sometimes be difficult for the sender to convey certain feelings or emotions, and it can sometimes be hard for the recipient to interpret the email exactly as the sender intended. This has sometimes caused confusion and misunderstanding between the sender and recipient. Email etiquette then, is an attempt to provide guidelines for composing email in a way that enhances clarity and reduces confusion and misunderstanding.