Netiquette for Dummies

Etiquette — you’ve probably heard your grandma hand you a totally unwanted lecture about it. It probably sounded like ‘Can’t you sit like a lady?’ ‘Don’t hunch your back like that! Or even ‘Don’t give me that look’ followed by a ‘Didn’t your parents teach you anything about etiquette?’ While you’re probably sitting there with a tight smile plastered across your face, thinking ‘Man, how am I even related to this person?’ And most of us probably know the basics of etiquette, like don’t talk with your mouth full, be polite and so on and so forth. But when it comes to living in the digital age, there’s a new kind of unspoken etiquette about to how behave online, whether it’s on twitter or reddit or really just when you’re writing back an email — it’s called netiquette.

So what exactly is netiquette? Simple — it’s just like real-life etiquette; it’s a set of accepted rules and norms as to what you should and shouldn’t do online. Just like how you wouldn’t shout at your boss in real life (even if they really, really deserve it), you wouldn’t respond to is or hers email in capital letters and that’s just one of the many rules of netiquette.

Lets get started on the basic Do’s and Don’ts:

  1. Don’t be a troll. Seriously. And I’m not talking about those cute troll dolls you used to collect back in the day (see here)— I’m talking about a mean, grouchy troll that believes that can type up rude messages just because they sit behind a screen for the simple purpose of causing disruption. Not cool.

2. Don’t take days to reply. We live in the fast-paced digital sphere where we’re constantly connected — now I’m not saying you should reply within 2 seconds but if you’re really going to take a week to reply to iMessage, well then…

3. DON’T TYPE LIKE THIS or LyK Disssss. As previously mentioned, writing in all caps gives me the impression you’re shouting in a very rude tone; and typing LyK diS is just distracting and gives me the impression you don’t know proper grammar not to be a grammar nazi or anything)

4. DO cite your sources and be aware of copyright. Imagine working days on end to create a masterpiece and putting your heart and soul into it — only to have it ripped off by someone else. It seems like common knowledge to cite your sources, but it’s absolutely staggering to see how many people are completely unaware of this (also, you don’t want to go to court do you?)

5. And last but not least, DO be careful of what you share online! if it’s on the internet, it’s on the internet — and just follow this basic rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t want your grandma to see it, don’t post it.

But what about netiquette for different social media platforms? Here are my personal PSA’s for social media specific netiquette:

1. Please, please, PLEASE, don’t post a huge paragraph of #hashtags in the caption of your Instagram photo. Yes, I know you want more likes, but please don’t be so obvious, one to three is more then enough.

2. Don’t post more than twice a day on Instagram — yes we all want to follow you around and know what you’re up to (not), but please don’t spam our newsfeed. And also, that’s what Snapchat is for.

3. Speaking of Snapchat, please don’t post a three hundred second story for me to swipe through of you at a concert.

4. Also, please don’t pretend like you’re one of the Kardashian/Jenners in your snapchat. They get away of with it because of her millions of followers, you don’t.

5. Last but definitely least, when you’re commenting on anything, whether it’s a discussion post on Facebook or another online forum, please research what you’re talking about.

And that’s it folks! I’m out *mic drop*

Citations: (1st Meme)

(Troll image)

(Grandma meme)


(Mic Drop GIF)

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