Whether you like it or not, we are now fully immersed in the Digital Age. And in the new-fangled era of smart cars and even smarter phones the way a man presents himself through text to the world is an essential skill.

Grammar and spelling are everything. If you’re sending an email to a potential employer or just checking in on your grandparents, proper punctuation, full sentences and a quick spellcheck show that you have your thoughts, and by extension, your life organized.

(Note from the author: this is where I will omit pleading with the readers to avoid the painful use of “MSN lingo” in anything other than texts and messages between friends. Please, you should know better by now.)

Use your email service’s “signature” feature. This allows you to sign off every email in the same way and demonstrates that you are a proficient email user. You can add your title or job position and contact information as well and even a link to your portfolio. However, emailers beware as a cluttered and frantic looking signature will reflect poorly, keep it simple.

Use a clear subject line. The subject line “update” or “question” is not good enough. Be specific so people know what they’re about to read and respond to you promptly. Instead of “question” write “questions about yesterday’s meeting”.

Set up an email bounce-back message if you plan on not being attentive to your messages for a prolonged period of time. Whether you’re going on vacation or just going off the grid, it’s helpful for someone who needs to get in touch to know that you’re unavailable. Be sure to add contact information for someone else who may be able to help and provide that person with the means of getting in contact with you in case of emergencies. Nothing is worse than needing a person who is unresponsive, which leads me to my final point…

Always respond! An unwanted job offer or outdated Craigslist ads, respond to all emails that have been personally sent to you. Why? Because it is polite. Knowing that they have been heard and responded too makes people feel vindicated. If you can’t help the sender out do your best to provide them with the necessary means or contacts to do so.

Follow these simple tips and your online presence will be that of a gentleman and a scholar.