E-mailing, texting thank you notes is not okay

  1. Tnx u won't do, say etiquette experts

    Mon Jan 8, 9:00 AM

    By Belinda Goldsmith
    NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters Life!) - Thank you notes, once feared a dying form of correspondence, are making a comeback via e-mail and text messaging but etiquette experts are reluctant to endorse anything but a handwritten note.

    Peter Post, a director of the U.S.'s Emily Post Institute that offers etiquette and manners advice, said increasing numbers of people had stopped writing thank you notes and were telephoning instead to thank for a holiday gift or party.

    But the proliferation of e-mails and text messaging on cell phones meant people were writing again to thank people.

    "E-mail has become an alternative way to send a thank you and you can see how text messaging could be considered another avenue," said Post, author of three etiquette books.

    "Is it appropriate? If you are not going to thank them otherwise then it is better than nothing but I still don't think it is good as sending a note."

    Some communication experts say teenagers and young adults who rarely took the time to pen a thank-you note to disappointed grandparents for their holiday gifts are now taking the time to say thank-you by e-mail and text message.

    "As more people get cell phones, we are seeing a rise in the number of thanks sent by text," said Delly Tamer, chief executive of online wireless retailer LetsTalk.com, which researches phone use.

    "The younger generation who may not write a note do feel comfortable saying thanks by text or e-mail."


    But traditionalists still frown upon the use of new technology to thank someone for a holiday gift, with not all older friends or relatives having e-mail or cell phones.

    "A younger person would never think twice about this or think there is a better way but to text message a thank you really is completely unacceptable," said Gloria Starr, who runs etiquette seminars for U.S. company Global Success Strategies.

    Starr said she feared hand-written thank you notes were disappearing, citing the example of a 17-year-old niece to whom she send a laptop last year as she started college.

    Having received no thanks or acknowledgment she telephoned her niece to check she had received the present and found she had. Starr proceeded to tell her niece how inconsiderate it was not to thank her and she would not send any more gifts. A few days later a two page thank you letter arrived.

    "She just had not thought of writing," said Starr.

    Life coach and writer Susan Dunn said the expectations of a thank you letter tended to be age related.

    "One of my 60-year-old readers said that if she does not receive a written thank you note, she does not give the person a gift again," said Dunn. "However I received the same comment from a 40-year-old. What age is the break-point? It appears to be around 35."

    Advice columnist Melissa Kirsch, whose book "The Girl's Guide to Everything" is being released in February, said people were wrong if they thought paper and pen were obsolete.
    "E-mail is disposable," she writes. "Handwritten notes take time and effort, and they literally send a message -- they say the recipient is valuable, cherished, appreciated."
  2. I actually dont mind email 'thank you' notes as long as it's well-thought out. I'm talking a nice note with at least 5 sentences, not "thnx u". I've been guilty of sending 'thank you' emails but they usually describe what I appreciated and a couple pictures of the events. Hopefully the recipient didnt mind :push:
  3. I'm guilty of sending e-mail thank you notes, but I accompany the well thought out note with virtual flowers.
  4. Thank you notes (or the lack thereof) is one of my PET PEEVES lately. One of the first threads I ever posted here was about this issue. I have been to a number of weddings over the past few years, and we have been generous with cash and other gifts. Only ONE of the couples sent a thank you note. I have talked to others who have been invited to weddings with extremely extravagant registries- from which they chose gifts-- and never got thank yous from those people either. It is just beyond RUDE and TACKY....... apparently newly married couples think that thank you notes are now "optional"......
  5. I've heard of wedding couples who have a bowl of pre-printed generic thank you notes!

    (I've also heard of brides making people self-address envelopes for their own thank you notes!)

    Both of those excuses are because the bride was "too busy."

    I've been trained to write thank you notes. (Of course, my handwriting is chicken scratch, so I type them.)
  6. I actually enjoy buying and writing thank-you cards. I'm not married, but many of my friends and relatives have gotten married within the last year, and I think I got one thank-you card, and it was from my cousin. I know that people are "busy", but I think common etiquette states that the couple has a year to send all their thank-you cards. Even if you have 500 people at your wedding, you can get them done in a year, especially if you split the work (which both people should, or there should at least be an offer to help).
  7. I think the time limit is technically a year after you get married. (You're still called Newlyweds up to a year after the wedding. The time limit for people to send you a present is up to a year after the wedding.)

    I'm single without a boyfriend, but I'd like to think that when I get married, I'll do the thank you notes. (I'll type them up with a nice font on nice paper and put them in a pretty card.)
  8. This is one of my pet peeves....hand written notes are a must IMHO!

    within 2 weeks for most occasions. With in 2 months for wedding! Come on, even if you had 500 people, that's 250 couples. 10 a day, would take you no more than a half hour, maybe 45 minutes and you would be done in 25 days!

    A year come on! Just realized never got one from an employee from about 5 months ago.
  9. I too am baffled by the lack of thank you notes for things, especially weddings. I went to 5 weddings last year and have yet to receive a thank you note for any of them, including 2 that I was in the wedding party for. It is beyond tacky!!! When I got married, I had all my thank you notes out with in the first two weeks back from the honeymoon and each had a message that was personal/specific to the couple/person who attended. It really doesn't take a lot of time, but it sure does mean a lot.

    As an aside, I am a teacher in a middle school and this year I noticed that I was the only teacher on my team (9 adults) who wrote thank you notes to the children who had given me holiday gifts. Even the students were surprised to receive them. One commented that he thought thank you notes were only for grandparents and aunts/uncles.
  10. ^^^Good for you! Every holiday we send a gift to the teachers. Those that send thank you notes get one at the end of the year, those don't....don't! That may be petty but, hey it's my money and I figure if they can't thanks the time to send a thank you, why should I take the time to send a gift!
  11. Okay, I guess I wasn't as knowledgable as I thought. I stand corrected, twinkle.tink.

    (And normally I would handwrite the notes, except that I'm not exaggerating when I say I have bad handwriting! It is so bad that a school counselor once told me I should type everything whenever possible!)
  12. Although I do write my notes by hand (I consider this a privilege, not an obligation- there are so few opportunities to send handwritten letters anymore), I don't mind if someone thanks me by email. I often get emailed thanks from friends the next day for, say, hosting a party. I'm usually happy to receive it and think it's gracious of them to thank me at all.