Know your manners when using technology? Rules of etiquette are just as important in cyberspace as they are in the real world—and the evidence of poor netiquette can stick around to haunt you for much longer.
1- Use Respectful Language
This goes for any social media site, forum, chat room, or email message. Name-calling, cursing, expressing deliberately offensive opinions—if you wouldn’t do it to the face of anyone you know, don’t write it! Either take the trouble to use the shift key for capital letters, or write in all lower case, but don’t use CAPS LOCK. Text in all caps is generally perceived as yelling.
2- Share With Discretion
Avoid sending naked sext pictures, drunk pictures, or unedited home video. If you don’t want it to haunt you back in 20 years time?! don’t post it online! The same goes for phone conversations in public places. Just because you can’t see the person you are talking to doesn’t mean everyone around you can’t see and hear you.
3- Don’t Exclude Others
Don’t make everyone else feel left out by posting an obscure comment to your Facebook status, forum, or Instagram story. If you have an in-joke to share with one other person or a small number of people in a larger online group, send them a private message. If you don’t want to share the joke, save it for later.
4- Choose Friends Wisely
It is insulting to be dropped from someone’s friend list on a social media site. So, think about it before sending a friend request or accepting an invitation. If you don’t want to be in touch with someone, don’t add them in the first place. If you want to stay in touch with a colleague for professional reasons, tell them you only use Facebook for close personal friendships.
5- Don’t Email Large Files
Post large files to your own space and send people a link. Don’t attach it to an email. And if you reply to a message, delete all but the most recent correspondence from the sender, otherwise, the message gets really, really long. One of you will be upset if you have to print it out one day, and the whole conversation uses up 20 pages.
6- Respect People’s Privacy
Don’t forward information sent to you without checking with the original sender first. Use BCC (blind carbon copy) rather than CC (carbon copy) if you are sending something out to more than one person. Take a second to think before uploading photos or videos that include other people to public space or sending them out to your own contacts. And remember, if you tag people on Facebook, others can access pictures of those people, unless they have adjusted their privacy settings.
7- Fact Check Before Reposting
Some cure for cancer might sound pretty impressive, but it will just cause upset if it is a hoax or urban myths. Don’t forget that many viruses are circulated via chain letters and invitations to all sorst of events. So don’t be naive. Forwarding that message just for laughts, will not bring you good luck.
8- Respond to Emails Promptly
If you have given someone your email address or if you are in a position where people could be expected to contact you by email and your email address is public, have the courtesy to reply to their message within a few days. By all means, don’t ignore and delete it to spam! Write back saying that it is a difficult question and they might be better off seeking the information elsewhere.
9- Update Online Information
Don’t leave inaccurate information online just because you can’t be bothered to update your website. If you are going to be unavailable, for example, don’t leave your hours of operation online indicating you will be available. If you can’t keep your website up to date, take it down.
10- A Word From Us
It is easy to lose your sense of what is going on around you when you are using technology, but engaging directly with others is more important than ever. Don’t forget the positive impact you can make by putting down your phone and having a real, face-to-face conversation.
Do You Agree With These Ten Rules? Do You Use Them Yourself?