Internet or simply Net (as most of the Gen Y calls it) is a very basic necessity these days. It does not only allows you to keep in touch with your friends (and strangers) but also helps you with the day to day chores. Gone are the days when the most tech savvy of the students in the colleges and the most sophisticated people in offices used internet. Today, almost everyone is on the Internet. Most of the credit goes to social media sites like FB and Twitter, an online encyclopedia we call Wikipedia (and a few other useful wikis) and a few more interesting sites in fun filled niches like gaming and shopping. This boom has led to trillions (I guess even trillion is a small number) of conversations going on the internet at any given second. But how many of us consider following some very basic good manners and etiquette while conversing with people on the internet? While on a phone or talking face to face you get to show gestures and take advantage of voice modulation super power possessed by humans but what about written chats on internet? As a matter of fact, most of us fail to recognize this fact and knowingly or unknowingly hurt a few people everyday (PS: Do not get too literal here).
Here are a few internet etiquette rules you should consider while writing anything on the internet irrespective if you are sending an official mail or chatting with a stranger on Facebook. Yes, we do not have rules for friends (who needs rules to talk to friends?).
1. Common Sense is GOD
There is a very famous saying “Common sense is not common”. Sadly, it is true for many people. Everyone knows about a few words that are considered offensive and should never be used but still most of us use it and regret it later. Make use of your common sense and avoid being rude, racist, intolerant and disrespectful. Sarcasm is fine and fun but up to an extent but you should be smart enough to realize the limit and never cross it.
2. Respect Human Feelings
If you are not high and are not being tested on some questions, you know there is a human on the other side of the computer screen (isn’t that cool!). Just like you, that human also has certain feelings and loves respect. Converse like you would have in case you were talking with him eye-to-eye. It does not matter if he is like a thousand miles away and cannot punch or poke you if you misbehaved because interestingly, a human 1000 miles away also has the same feelings that may get hurt.
3. Short And Sweet
Always keep your conversations short and filled with respect just like I did in this message. A common observation is that that people usually do not read the sales pitch and cut straight to the offer. Similarly, no one likes their time being wasted by someone on the internet. So always keep your conversation to the point and short. Just like I did.
4. Emoticons are cool
Yes, Emoticons are cool and all of us love them. Don’t we? But it is important to understand the use of emoticons and make sure you send the correct ones. A ‘Happy Birthday ’ always looks better than a ‘Happy Birthday!’. Also emoticons show the person on the other exactly what you feel like and therefore when you are angry, avoid using emoticons.
5. Privacy Matters
This is the rule that is of the utmost importance. Even if you do not feel enough respect for the person on the other side and feel like smashing their face, you should still NEVER leak anyone’s private information which is not only limited to phone number and address but also includes names (as on adult sites), email and anything that may lead to their identification.
6. Understand CAPITAL Letters
How to catch an internet newbie? Check if he types even when his Caps Lock key is ON. You should always make sure that Caps Lock is off on your keyboard and you should use it ONLY when you want to put stress on a certain point or shout at someone. Keeping Caps Lock on will gain you disrespect from everyone and who knows maybe a kick from the chatroom!
7. Understand The Internet Culture
It does not matter where in the world you live, but when you log on to internet, you become a netizen and its your humble duty to understand the culture on the internet. Interestingly enough, internet has its own culture and anyone who enters this culture is bound to make mistakes. These mistakes may offend people at times and when you know its your fault, you should always say an unconditional sorry. Learn from your mistakes. Internet is a beautiful place and has a place for everyone.
These are some very basic good manners you should consider while doing anything on the internet (apart from gaming). If you follow these, you will surely have a very sweet internet life. Thank You and Sorry are the two words that work like a charm on the internet and you should never feel hesitant of saying them.
Thank You for reading