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Place yourself under computer curfew to guard against late-night emails you may regret in the cold light of day

Place yourself under computer curfew to guard against late-night emails you may regret in the cold light of day

Place yourself under computer curfew to guard against late-night emails you may regret in the cold light of day

Place yourself under computer curfew to guard against late-night emails you may regret in the cold light of day

By Georgina Burrows

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about how technology is a great way for divorced parents to stay in touch with their children. Emails, Skype and instant messaging make it easy to link up with loved ones wherever you – and they – are in the world.

But as with everything, technology has its downsides, and one of these is the very thing that makes it so wonderful – its immediacy. You can tap out a text message or dash off an email without much thought, press ‘send’ and off it goes.

Because most people have access to smart phones, laptops, tablets and computers at home, writing late-night missives – often after a few glasses of wine – is far from uncommon. How many of us can say we’ve never woken up in a morning wishing there was a ‘retrieve’ button so that we could ‘unsend’ an email written in drink or anger, or both?

Some of the most confusing, emotional and ill-advised emails we receive from clients are generally sent late at night or in the early hours of the morning. We always check the time they came through before acting on them, because invariably we get contrary instructions in the cold light of day!

Not only do these communications sometimes cause clients embarrassment, they also cost them money: We charge for all incoming and outgoing emails; so the more you send us, the costlier the process.

Our advice, then, is for an evening curfew on the use of your smart phone, computer or tablet, so you’re not tempted to bang out a furious email at night that you will regret in the morning. If you do get the urge to vent your feelings (and this can be quite healthy) write them down, in the old-fashioned way, on a piece of paper. In the morning, all you have to do is put the paper in the bin – and you won’t have incurred any extra costs!

* Georgina Burrows is an Associate with Benussi & Co

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