In the following
piece Stephanie Constantina looks at how to email pen pals correctly.
This is etiquette for pen pals and where to find new pen pals to
email, so helping you to make new email friends locally or internationally.
Pen Pals Correctly!
by Stephanie Constantina
Every form of communication has its
standards of good and bad practice and no less is true of pen pals
communicating with one another. If you do not pay attention to what
is acceptable and unacceptable in the pen pals world, you run the
risk of annoying or upsetting your new pen friends.
Before we can begin to consider how
you can avoid being a pen pal nuisance, the question must be asked:
"Where are you going to find potential pen pals?" This is a good
question because going to free pen pals sites is often not the best
source of good pen pals. This is because free pen pal sites must
have some way to meet the costs of their business, and therefore
the word 'free' comes under some doubt.
Perhaps such free pen pal sites generate
revenue through advertising, or perhaps they will try to sell their
free members products and services once they have signed up. Whatever
the case, there is always the possibility that such free pen pal
sites cannot exercise the controls over their members that paid
subscriptions sites usually can. In short, you may be more likely
to encounter individuals who are there for the wrong reasons than
in the paid subscription pen pals sites.
But turning back to the question of
good practice when e-mailing pen pals, let's begin with how to approach
a potential new pen pal for the first time. You should really try
to adopt a slightly formal, but friendly, almost-businesslike approach,
just as if meeting a new business colleague for the first time.
You certainly do not want to come across
as over-familiar or in-your-face. Remember that this is like meeting
somebody for the first time in the local coffee bar, for example.
Once the initial emails with your new
pen pal have been exchanged, you can adopt the usual e-mail structure
when dealing with friends. This is usually to begin with a friendly
greeting followed by a supportive response to whatever news or information
your penpal has revealed in his or her e-mail. Follow this with
your own news and finish with a sentence intended to encourage your
new friend to reply.
During the first few e-mails to your
new pen pal, keep your emails brief to medium length. Someone is
more likely to read a longer e-mail once they get to know you a
little better. Especially in the early stages of a new friendship,
try not to dwell on your own background or life story. Your pen
pal may well not want to read a long description of your past successes
Also avoid controversial subjects.
Religion and politics are the usual problematic areas, likely to
annoy or upset unless you happen to have exactly the same views.
Once you get to know your new pen pals a little better you will
gradually find out what their views in such subject areas are.
Unless it is clear from the format
in which you signed up that your new pen pal is single and seeking
a partner, do not send a photo of yourself, at least in the early
stages of the relationship. To do so may be misinterpreted as a
romantic overture, which if unexpected may not be welcome.
Later, when your friendship with your
new pen pal is better established, you can exchange photographs
of things you are interested in. It is important though to always
ask first before sending a file attachment. Your pen pal may not
be able to handle large file downloads and if you crash his or her
e-mail software you are not going to be the favourite person of
Even when you have checked that your
pen pal is willing to accept large downloads (most photos qualify
as large downloads) always send a warning e-mail first, at least
an hour or two before you send the e-mail with the attachment. Note
also that it is easy to process a photo into a smaller file size
using image processing software. You may find this already exists
on your computer, if not such free software is available online
-- just carry out a search for "free image processing software"
at your favourite search engine.
Just as when speaking to people face-to-face
be friendly and courteous when e-mailing pen pals. Never lose your
cool over something someone else writes, as you may have misunderstood
or taken what is said out of context. If you are upset by something
someone says in an email always wait until the next day to reply
because then you will have had time to calm down and get some perspective
on the issue.
Having email pen pals is a great way
to make new friends at home or further afield. Sometimes lifelong
friendships and even romances begin in this way, so go out there
and start some new pen pal friendships!
You can browse individual profiles of people seeking pen pals
pals. Japanese pen pals can be reached here: Japanese
Constantina is an author at Single
the search box top right to search the international database for
potential pen pal friends to get to know. Alternatively, if you
would like to browse the dating ads click
here. Find dating advice here: Dating
to make friends easily online
Here are some useful methods to know about ways to make friends
easily online and offline.