on December 30, 2019
  • Others

Today, for anything and everything we talk about etiquette; be it an educational institution, workplace or parties, sometimes even at home. There are some basic guidelines or conventional rules one is expected to follow in communication, interaction, and behaviour in a community. The community here doesn’t imply only the physical space but the cyberspace as well. Here, we will cover some basic etiquettes which you should follow to communicate and interact within the online digital world and social media apps. 

What is Netiquette?

Netiquette, or Internet etiquette, is a way of defining professionalism through network communication. Its derivation is based on the merging of the words “network” as well as “etiquette;” and, the concept is closely related to ethics (Scheuermann & Taylor 1997). Netiquette refers to a set of core rules that describe what should and should not be done with regards to online communication in order to maintain common courtesy (Shea 1994).

Why is it important?

It is believed that in exchange, seventy percent of our communication is non-verbal in nature. But in online communication, people can’t see your body language or hear your tone of voice. Therefore, it is important to follow these basic rules to avoid confusion or hurting other people’s feelings. Not following these rules can have a negative impact on your digital reputation and your permanent digital footprint. Set a positive example by treating others with respect.

Basic Internet Etiquette Rules:

  1. Don’t write in ALL CAPS, it is considered YELLING!
  2. Use the same basic standards of behaviour online as you do in real life.
  3. Be conscious of what site or media you are currently using as some will be more formal and others more casual.
  4. Always check spelling and grammar.
  5. Outside of texting or during chatting with your friends don’t use acronyms or emoji’s.
  6. Stick to the main subject or topic of the post you are responding to.
  7. Be concise to respect other people’s time in reading your posts by not making them too long.
  8. Remember your digital reputation, always put forth your best effort to make yourself look good online. 
  9. It’s Ok to disagree with others online, but you still have to treat them with respect and dignity in the replies or comments that you post.
  10. Avoid heated arguments and NEVER make things personal.
  11. Don’t use inappropriate language.
  12. Don’t be verbally abusive – cyberbullying is inexcusable.
  13. Respect people’s privacy by not revealing things you don’t have their permission to disclose.
  14. If someone makes a mistake don’t be harsh while pointing out the correct facts.
  15. Don’t plagiarize; ensure proper citations of your references.

How to follow proper Email Etiquettes

You may be a model of decorum in person, but a bonehead online. You will need online rules of etiquette, consideration, and common sense.

  • Be clear and precise in your email and text messages.
  • Don’t include acronyms unless you are sure the recipient will understand them.
  • Use sarcasm sparingly since it is easily misunderstood in print.
  • Never write in ALL CAPS – unless you actually intend to be shouting.
  • If you are sending an attachment make sure it’s compatible with the recipient’s software. If the file size is larger than 5MB, compress it before sending otherwise it could lock up the recipient’s inbox.

TIP: Share photos by posting them online rather than sending them as attachments.

When you send group emails respect people’s privacy by typing the addresses into the BCC or blind carbon copy; this prevents recipients from seeing that anyone else was copied on the email.

Never forward someone’s email address or messages to a third party unless you have the sender’s permission.

Fill in subject line – it only takes a second and it provides your recipient with useful information that can help them track the email in the future.

If you are forwarding a message include a brief explanation as to why you are doing so.

Don’t tag pictures of other people on social networking sites if they have previously asked you not to and don’t discuss anyone’s private business no matter how harmless you think it is on people’s walls or anywhere on their profiles where others can view it.

Think before you send an instant message to someone, it’s meant for brief, swift exchanges.

Don’t contribute to boards until you are lurked. Read what’s already been written so that you can get a sense of what is appropriate before you join in. This will also prevent you from annoying people with questions that have already been answered and insights that have already been shared.

TIP: If a site has FAQs section read it before posting a query.

On discussion boards refrain from flaming people – disagreeing with them in a gratuitously nasty manner. Also resist the urge to respond to someone else’s flame in kind and don’t be a troll – someone who purposely tries to incite others.

Did you know?

In 1982 a Carnegie Mellon professor invented the smiley face emoticon – a colon hyphen and closed parenthesis after humorous postings on electronic bulletin boards were mistakenly bein 🙂 g taken seriously.

As you can see there are a number of guidelines we all need to follow while interacting with others in an online platform. By following these common-sense rules, you can help make a positive contribution to the online community.

Written By
Sumesh Nair


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