Netiquette: The Modern Day Etiquette

Remember those good old days where we were taught not to put our elbows up on the table, always to use our please and thank-you’s, and to give up your seat on the TTC to the pregnant women standing next to you, or the elderly man who just walked onto the bus? Those were golden ages of etiquette.

Now-a-days we are being taught the rules of netiquette. Netiquette is being careful on how you voice your opinion online to respect the views of other’s, by displaying common courtesy when interacting on web forums such as discussion groups.

Using the practices of netiquette, your social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, will come across as professional while still showing that there is a human behind the computer. This will also help you to not come across as a total a#@hole online when voicing your opining on a topic you are passionate about.

Here are some of the basic rules;

Refrain from personal abuse. Even though you strongly believe that voting Donald Trump in for the President of the United States of America is possibly the worst decision man-kind could ever make (an argument that I totally agree with); you should NOT be using abusive remarks such as calling individuals imbeciles, or un-educated hillbillies. This will most definitely NOT leave a good impression on your behalf. After all, we are all just trying to #MakeAmericaGreatAgain ;).

Grammar. When posting online it is always great to remind yourself to write clearly and succinctly. Meaning, try to avoid using slang such as lit, fam, or bro. You most definitely would rather have your boss reading a tweet such as ‘Monday mornings are not as bad when you are learning about #FutureCompanyGoals. Oh, and did I mention there is also #FreeCoffee’ vs. ‘Had a meeting this Monday morning and fam it was lit #freecoffeeontheboss #thanksjim’. Also, when posting in an online forum be aware for the infamous Grammar Police. These are people are first to notice when you start speling licke you are in grhade three, or if you cannot differentiate between the proper uses of their, there, and they’re. Not only will the Grammar Police suddenly completely beat your post to the ground, but you also want to sound professional and educated when discussing amongst your peers and co-workers. However, the second you use the wrong there, or then instead of than, people will instantly begin to discredit any opinion you are putting forth in the discussion.

Cite your Sources. I feel like I am a professor now who is consistently advising and stressing to students on how important it is to cite their sources. You do not want to be caught red-handed plagiarizing. Not only is it the most embarrassing thing that could happen to you (and could lead to facing a lawsuit being left in your mailbox),but it is also completely avoidable. Seriously, there are multiple citing engines that will literally create your bibliography for you with the click of a button in any desired format. Citing your sources in a blog, on an online forum, or in a paper, shows your audience that you are backing up your facts with solid evidence. It will also show that you have taken the time to study and research the topic present at hand.

The internet is no stranger to anyone in this day and age. Therefore, we must seriously be careful as to how we are portraying ourselves online. Your Facebook profile may be the deciding factor for an employer who is looking to hire you. Even though some people have cleverly thought about making their profiles private, or changing their social media names to a completely different alter-ego name - well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your future employers will find everything. So please, do be careful and do use proper netiquette when tweeting, updating your status, or sending e-mails, because you know what they say — #MakeNetiquetteGreatAgain.

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