Good manners are something we all have been taught since we were toddlers. But with growing Internet usage, it is highly advised to learn some cyberspace manners - netiquette, as well!
Do unto others as you'd have others do unto you.
Remember this phrase while in cyberspace and act accordingly. If you don't want to be treated in an inappropriate manner, then don't treat others in that manner as well. As the chances of getting caught in cyberspace are bleak, many netizens involve in unethical or wrong practices while they are online. However, with new and stricter laws in place, you can land in trouble if you don't adhere to the various netiquette rules! Here are ten 'must follow' rules.
Rule 1: Check Your Spellings
The first and the foremost rule is to keep your spellings under check. We understand that spellings are not the easiest things to remember, but then you don't want your typos to affect your online image, do you? There are many spell check apps available online that can help you. Use them if you don't want someone to get freaked out with your writing! Nowadays, most programs and apps come with built-in spell checkers anyway, so one just needs to be careful and attentive while typing.
Rule 2: Avoid All CAPS
Refrain from writing the entire text in capital letters. This gives an indication that you are shouting at the reader! Also, entire paragraphs in caps will hurt your eyes as well as those of the one who is viewing the content. This type of writing style is used to grab attention, but is considered a bad netiquette. If you aren't doing it to express that you are shouting, then it just shows that you do not take care of how you write and do things online.
Rule 3: Avoid Flaming
Flame is a form of personal insult. Avoid flaming over the Internet. Exchanging angry or insulting conversations in forums or chat rooms is not good netiquette. You can always find ways and means to express your disagreement or views other than using abusive language. Abusing someone online will only create a negative image about yourself, and this may result in you losing many friends, both online as well as in real.
Rule 4: Learn to Forgive
Someone wrote a not-so-good comment on your blog! It is natural for you to get furious. However, if this is his first mistake then you can give him the benefit of doubt. The person may be new to the Internet or may not be able to write his views in a proper manner. You might also have to take into account if that person has pointed out an error in your writing, and act accordingly. However, if this is repeated again, you can take relevant action against him. But till then, forgive and forget.
Rule 5: Don't Lie
Lying is the most common bad netiquette that most people indulge in! People lie about their profession, their nationality, their personality traits, age, and even their sex! You may lie just to have fun or due to some other factor, but it does hurt reader's emotions. And if the reader catches your lie later, then you are surely in trouble. Once it is proven that you lie, no one will ever believe you again, at least on the Internet.
Rule 6: Avoid Writing Long Paragraphs
Keep the content of your blogs, emails or comments brief. Long paragraphs appear boring at the first glance. Also, it takes lot of time to read it completely. Short and precise writing is preferred by readers online. You can add a self-explanatory subject line to your writing so that readers will immediately know your views. If they find the subject heading interesting, they will surely read the entire writing. Typing long paragraphs will consume a lot of your time as well.
Rule 7: Respect Others Privacy
Personal life is something that is meant to be personal. You should not indulge in any personal talk in emails or in chat rooms. Also, do not force someone to reveal details about their personal life on public platforms. This kind of behavior is unethical in daily life, leave alone cyberspace. Respecting privacy also means that you don't keep peeping onto your neighbor's or colleague's computer screen. It is considered extremely uncivilized to do so. Information should only be shared mutually, and no other way.
Rule 8: No Slang, Please!
Using slang or foul language is unacceptable. Find the right words to express your emotions. Using slang will not only hamper your online image, but can also get you into trouble. Google has an algorithm that declares all writing using slang as adult content. Thus, your writings will not be viewed by all. Besides, you wouldn't want to write something that your kids, your partner, or your parents would not like reading, would you?
Rule 9: Avoid Spamming
No one appreciates receiving mails or comments with inappropriate content. How about receiving a comment 'tdfiscfl' for the latest blog that you have posted? If you don't like receiving one then don't indulge in sending one either. Many advertisers use spam as their tool for mass advertising or marketing. However, somewhere the line needs to be drawn.
Rule 10: Stick to the Topic
You will find many messages in forums which have little or no relevance to the topic of discussion. Always stick to the topic of discussion. Also, don't beat around the bush. Write what you consider is appropriate regarding the topic. It is advisable not to comment at all rather than posting inappropriate stuff. You wouldn't want to read a movie review in a medical discussion forum, would you?
- Keep file sizes to the minimum while transferring.
- Never ask for or give your user ID or password to anyone.
- Always provide and post correct information, and nothing fictitious or false.
- At all costs, adhere to and respect license agreements and copyright laws.
- Last but not the least, do nothing online that you would not do in real.
One must understand that the Internet is an opportunity that one gets to interact with the world, and hence, we all must use it in a positive way to enjoy this virtual world to its fullest.