There are rules really about what form of communication you can use for different tasks. A text message you can coordinate meeting for lunch or tell a joke. An email you can schedule an important meeting or open a conversation. With a phone call you might be able to resolve some minor conflict or challenge a proposition. For an engagement, it seems most likely it would be done in person. But not Radio Shack, who recently broke these unspoken rules when they recently used email to lay people off from the company according to the AP.

RadioShack Corp. notified about 400 workers by e-mail that they were being dismissed immediately as part of planned job cuts.

Employees at the Fort Worth headquarters got messages Tuesday morning saying: “The work force reduction notification is currently in progress. Unfortunately, your position is one that has been eliminated.”

Company officials had told employees in a series of meetings that layoff notices would be delivered electronically, spokeswoman Kay Jackson said. She said employees were invited to ask questions before Tuesday’s notification on a company intranet site.

Derrick D’Souza, a management professor at the University of North Texas, said he had never heard of such a large number of terminated employees being notified electronically. He said it could be seen as dehumanizing to employees.