Netiquette is a combination of the words network and etiquette. It is defined as a set of rules for acceptable online behavior. Similarly, online ethics focuses on the acceptable use of online resources in an online social environment.
Our communication online is non-verbal making Netiquette important. You have to follow Internet etiquette because there are other people such as your friends, relatives, elders who are using the Internet for all online communications. Hence it is correct to behave properly and write politely to everyone.
Internet given us the access to new world at the tip of our finger. We could connect to people with one click or tap of button. There are lots of advantages but at the same time, disadvantages as well.
It’s easy now to be a victim of cyberbullying and the toxic world of social media is adding to the source of our stress.
That’s why there should be a ‘Netiquette’. It’s an idea that provides a code of conduct for people communicating online, and it can help improve your online experience. For example, writing a message in all caps is considered poor netiquette, because it is commonly understood to be the equivalent of shouting at the recipient.
This is where the phrase ‘think before you click’ also came from. Remember before communicating anything online is once your words or pictures are out in cyberspace, you most often can’t get them back or delete them.
Believe it or not, there are Netiquette Rules there. These 10 Rules are provided by Albion.com, excerpted from Virginia Shea’s book, Netiquette.
- 1 10 Rules of Netiquette from Albion.com
- 1.1 Rule 1: Remember the human
- 1.2 Rule 2: Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life
- 1.3 Rule 3: Know where you are in cyberspace
- 1.4 Rule 4: Respect others’ time and bandwidth
- 1.5 Rule 5: Make yourself look good online
- 1.6 Rule 6: Share expert knowledge
- 1.7 Rule 7: Help keep flame wars under control
- 1.8 Rule 8: Respect one another’s privacy
- 1.9 Rule 9: Don’t abuse your power
- 1.10 Rule 10: Be forgiving of other people’s mistakes
- 2 Conclusion
10 Rules of Netiquette from Albion.com
Rule 1: Remember the human
When we communicate through our gadgets online, we often forget that we are talking to people—real people. Human created those posts and this blog you are reading. It’s easier to reply negatively since you cannot see the human behind your screen. There’s a certain anonymous freedom, although nothing is really anonymous on the Internet.
So before replying, ask yourself if what you said won’t hurt you if it was a message for you instead.
Rule 2: Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life
Being anonymous, or atleast not in front of the people you’re talking to gives you the courage to act like what you are not in person. Often, the introverts are more active and more outgoing online compared in person. You can tell someone anything, turn off your device, log out and you can forget about it.
Rule 3: Know where you are in cyberspace
“Netiquette varies from domain to domain.” (Shea, 1994). You should RESPECT everyone. Something that might be acceptable for you, might not be acceptable for people depending where you are. Online or not, this one is applicable. You cannot mourn and wear black clothes in a wedding, or if online, you cannot share meat recipes in a vegan group chat.
Rule 4: Respect others’ time and bandwidth
Electronic communication takes time: time to read and time in which to respond. Most people today lead busy lives. People also have lives outside the online world and don’t have time to read or respond to perky emails. Send direct to the point but polite emails so words aren’t wasted.
As an, it is your responsibility to make sure that the time spent reading your words isn’t wasted. Make your written communication meaningful and to the point, without superfluous text or redundant graphics or attachments that aren’t even necessary.
Rule 5: Make yourself look good online
People can’t judge you by your looks, the way you dress or the sound of your voice online unless you are a Youtuber. You will, however be judged by the way you write. So always check your grammar and spelling. Have enough knowledge of what you are talking about and explain it clearly. Be nice and polite all the time.
Poor netiquette sample is swearing, starting flame wars, posting comments that you know are controversial.
One of the true benefits of expanded online communication — and one of the primary reasons the internet exists in the first place — is the ability to share and retrieve expert knowledge quickly. If you’re an expert and have research or news to share, this is one of the best uses of the internet.
Rule 7: Help keep flame wars under control
What is meant by “flaming” and “flame wars?” “Flaming is what people do when they express a strongly held opinion without holding back any emotion.” (Shea, 1994). On the other hand, flaming, or trying to incite drama by expressing strong and loathsome opinions, seems to be prevalent in the cyberworld.
Don’t feed the flames; extinguish them by guiding the discussion back to a more productive direction.
Rule 8: Respect one another’s privacy
Respecting privacy of others is expected online and offline. It is one of the important netiquette rule. This ability to share information at the tip of your fingers comes with responsibility.
Avoid doxing at all costs. Doxing, or doxxing, is the Internet-based practice of researching and publicly broadcasting private or identifying information about an individual or organization. The methods employed to acquire this information include searching publicly available databases and social media websites, hacking, and social engineering.
In easier explanation, it is snooping around in someone’s else’s computer or email to find out information that normally wouldn’t be open to you. With everything written down, it can be tempting for others to try to gain access to our private information.
Rule 9: Don’t abuse your power
Just like in real world, there are people in cyberspace who have more “power” than others. They have more expertise in technology or they have years of experience in a particular skill or subject matter. Just remember: knowing more than others do or having more power than others may have does not give you the right to take advantage of anyone.
People in powerful positions may try to gain an edge over their adversaries or put down others on social media platforms because they can, and because they have a huge group of followers. It’s a good idea not to abuse this power or say things online you may someday regret. Again, think before you click.
Rule 10: Be forgiving of other people’s mistakes
Not everyone in the cyberworld is as smart as you. You will find people who will ask stupid questions, unnecessary response, or maybe misspelled words or wrong grammar; when this happens, think twice before reacting. You don’t have the license to correct everybody.
Many of us are thankful for having an internet where we can learn new information quickly, make new friends and connections—even the love of our life.
But as Uncle Ben said: “With great power comes great responsibility.” All of this access and power comes with its own standards and rules of behavior. After all, we don’t want to estrange ourselves or get into social or even legal distress.
It’s paramount to practice good netiquette rules and, from time to time, remind ourselves that while we may see unsympathetic characters on our screens, there are real people behind those words who will feel real emotions when they read what we share online.