Five Things "Sent from my iPhone" Says About You

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Imagine a telephone conversation ending this way: "I'll talk to you later. By the way, this conversation was transmitted by Verizon." Or in person: "It was great to see you. My fresh breath was brought to you by Listerine."

Absurd, right? So, why do so many millions of people allow Apple (or any smartphone/tablet manufacturer) to put a commercial at the end of every e-mail delivered from one of its devices? As someone who has been on a crusade to put an end to the "cyber brag tag," I have heard the following five justifications, all of which I will debunk with ease.

1. "I don't know how to take it off."
Balderdash. It is not possible to own and operate a machine as complex as today's smartphone without being capable of doing something so rudimentary, or figuring it out after investing the amount of time it takes to get a money-saving quote from Progressive. If you can download an app, use GPS to find the nearest Starbucks or change your password, you can figure out how to remove the cloying message from your e-mails. Plus, in the eyes of many, you are not seen as a Luddite, you are merely seen as lazy, or as one article declared, a "cyber doofus."

2. "I am proud to own an iPhone/iPad/etc. and want everyone to know about it." Congratulations, you are a member of a club roughly as exclusive as Kim Kardashian bedmates, No.1 Dads, and judging from the obnoxious quantity of bumper stickers on the road, half-marathon runners. There seems to be a wanton, willing obliviousness in people letting everyone know all about the device they are using. People often claim not to be aware that their e-mails include these commercials, but that is hard, if not impossible, to believe. Apple in particular has done an amazing job of instilling a sense of urgency into the ownership of its devices and to "unintentionally" leave the "Sent from my iPhone" in a correspondence lets the world know that you are hip and keeping up with them, even if the music loaded onto the device says otherwise. If you disagree, then how do you account for the word "my" in these auto-signatures?


3. "I want people to know that my e-mails are coming from a phone because they might be brief and/or have typographical errors."

At the advent of the smartphone era, this might have been reasonable, particularly with regards to the brevity of one's correspondence. However, a great percentage of written communication, via text or e-mail, is sent from phones -- well over 50 percent, according to a large communications company executive with whom I spoke. So, an apology for or explanation of brevity is as unnecessary as the annoying "Out of Office" auto-reply that is typically followed by an actual reply within minutes. If your e-mail is important enough to require an explanation as to why it is so brief, it is probably better to take an extra moment or two to write a better response.

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14 comments
DeanWormer
DeanWormer

I'm not a tech company CEO, but I'm confident I make a lot more money than the pinheads getting so worked up over this article.  And I got to this spot of power and influence by communicating clearly, controlling my message, and caring about the little things.

Is the writer a pompous, self-righteous blowhard who is probably an insufferable friend?  Obviously. But he also made an over-arching point that many of the comments reinforce.  Take care of how you communicate or you’ll look like an idiot.   

Katie Walsh
Katie Walsh

I can always fall back on -I don't care enough to remove it. If it bothers you, too bad.

trent32
trent32

I really think you take OCD to the next level.  I'll believe that leaving a tag like "Sent from my iPhone" impacts someone's confidence in my ability to do a good job when the super-CEOs from Silicon Valley also remove it from their e-mails.  Some Valley CEOs even put it on their messages specifically for the purpose of giving people the impression that they're mobile and not giving a long response (even when they aren't actually mobile).  You alluded to that in the article but I think you missed the point of it entirely.

http://gigaom.com/2010/08/18/kevin-rose-tells-you-how-to-get-to-inbox-zero/

http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/25/email-tricks-of-the-super-successful/

Putting that at the bottom of an e-mail isn't meant as a "brag tag" and it's in no way comparable to "this fresh breath brought to you by Listerine".  It's simply an indicator that the person replying isn't sitting at a desk typing out a long response and the message is going to be short and to the point.  It's not even an apology of such, more of just a justification.  

Honestly, there's a growing trend that's shifting towards a concept known as a "Three Sentences" - which is the idea that any e-mail or text message should not exceed three sentences.  If it can't reasonably be communicated what you're trying to say in three sentences (give or take 1 or 2) then you need to either call the person or meet with them and discuss it.  This is driven by the idea that people waste so much time reading and replying in long e-mails that they could've spent doing something more productive.

http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/18/3-sentence-emails/

tgarre6
tgarre6

I would hate to know the author of this article personally. If something as small as "Sent from my iphone" bothers him this badly, I would hate to see how he responds to anything that has an actual impact on his life. 

Amela Brkic
Amela Brkic

Dave ... Seriously get over your self righteousness

Katie Markert
Katie Markert

just insecure idiots looking to complain lol...

Heath Mitchell
Heath Mitchell

I'm with these guys. Who gives a shit. Get a life. I wish this was the biggest thing I had to worry about.

Nathan Berkley
Nathan Berkley

The author of this article sounds more insufferable than any phone/coffee/beer/food snob I have ever met. Yes, let me rearrange my life into a way that you find more agreeable with your incredible sense of self worth. Oh wait, never mind...Go fuck yourself and never write for the RFT again, please. Sent from my cheap-ass netbook.

Bart Cohn
Bart Cohn

Ha, sometimes I write "Sent from [my] iPhone" on emails sent from my desktop, just so I can be brief and not offend.

Lance Lingle
Lance Lingle

Shit, I wish this was the least of my worries in life. Sent from my iPhone

J-Dizzle
J-Dizzle

I'm not looking to befriend this author either, but I do agree - why keep a tag that has even the chance to annoy the person your sending it to?

Dealio3
Dealio3

@linkbaitsuperstar I think using that appalling term is a pretty clear indicator that your opinion is not one worth considering.

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