Even though internet etiquette can be complicated, the old rules of etiquette still apply. Courtesy always means consideration of others. Making others feel comfortable is the basis of all kinds of etiquette, be it table manners or the internet.
It is easy to be rude on the internet because it allows you to be anonymous, unlike sitting across the table from someone who is slurping their soup. Unfortunately, some people try to take advantage of this and behave poorly. They think nothing of lying, harassing or boring you. People can be hurt by an e-mail or chat room discussion.
There is an internet word called “flaming.” It doesn’t mean the paper is on fire. It is sometime used to express an opinion. When doing this, try not to be adamant. Words can easily be taken as an insult. Don’t be mean spirited.
Here are some things to remember regarding Cyberspace etiquette:
Remember there is a person behind every message.
Be clear. You can easily be misinterpreted.
Choose your words carefully. People can be easily offended.
Write only what you would say in person.
Remember that e-mails can be saved forever.
Respect other people’s time.
Watch for tomorrow’s Etiquette post. I will continue to cover Cyberspace Etiquette.
By Lois Jamieson