How “Sent From My iPhone” Became a Key Internet Etiquette

When the iPhone was first introduced, the default “Sent From My iPhone” sign-off received plenty of criticism, and was considered a thinly veiled humblebrag among the growing popularity of Apple products. An interesting write up on The Guardian highlights how something which initially proposed that having an iPhone was so much more than having something on which you could make calls and browse the internet, has now become a key piece of net etiquette.

Sent from my iphone message text

Apple’s default Mail app sign-off started of as “an elite lifestyle marker that signalled both sophistication and technological know-how”. However, it quickly became a little embarrassing, as it suggested that either you wanted to show off your smartphone or you couldn’t figure out how to turn the message off. Recently though, the sign-off is no longer accused of not knowing how to switch it off, or even a humblebrag. In fact, the phrase has become “an important part of online decorum”.

Including the sign off contains an innate apology for the brevity of the message. It begs forgiveness for any spelling or grammatical errors. It allows a little wiggle rooms for errant emojis. It is a nod of acknowledgement that you are on the hoof and doing as well as can be expected.

And it works. The researchers Caleb T Carr and Chad Stefaniak found in their paper Sent From My iPhone: The Medium and Message as Cues of Sender Professionalism in Mobile Telephony that those receiving a message containing spelling and grammatical errors forgiving of the mistakes when sent from a phone. What’s more,it boosted credibility over and above a perfectly worded message without the caveat.

Well who would have thought “Sent From My iPhone” would one day make users forgive errors attributed to the constraints of writing on a tiny touch screen, or as the source puts it, “a nod of acknowledgement that we are doing the best we can”.

“Technology runs through my veins...” | Follow me: @DrUsmanQ usman@iPhoneinCanada.ca

  • LadeeDa

    People who don’t know how to disable or change their signature on their iPhone shouldn’t be having an iPhone in the first place

  • GaDgEtMoN

    If I remember correctly, this all started with Blackberry or the carriers. I remember seeing, “Sent from my Blackberry on the (Rogers/Bell/Telus) Network”

  • FragilityG4

    Agreed.

  • Quattro

    I’m trying to determine just how far down the path of utterly pointless drivel this lies.

  • Riddlemethis

    Quite far….it’s simply to meet Usman’s weekly quota on any subject.

    Time for management to start trimming the dead weight here.

  • Ben

    Interesting. I usually disable it especially for business email because I’m worried it looks like bragging, but if it is seen as an apology maybe I should keep it. Thanks!

  • winnertakesteve

    Way to ratchet up the elitism even further.

    Sent from my iPad Pro with true tone display and Pencil.

  • Even in an enterprise setting, I’ve intentionally left the default signature on. Like the article suggests, I’ve found that this allows for recipients to be more forgiving in case of accidental spelling errors or *more importantly* unintentional autocorrects that slip through the cracks.

  • Mamba

    Just change it to “send from phone” if you’re so worried it looks like bragging. But just FYI, NO ONE CARES what phone you’re using, they just want you to reply their emails, especially in business. Believe me when I say most people just care about getting the job done. Hack, they might even like you more if they see you’re working while on your phone. Your mind set needs to change.

    Why is it considered bragging is totally beyond me. It’s just a damn phone.

  • ticky13

    Heaven forbid anyone should take five seconds to proofread their email before sending it so maybe it doesn’t contain spelling and grammar errors.