Netiquette: The New Social Rules for The New Social World

Netiquette is the internet term that combines the word “Net” with the word “etiquette”. It is the idea that on the internet the rules of etiquette are different than the normal social rules of etiquette. These are guidelines that show what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in online communications.

Source: Giphy

The internet has developed into its own culture called cyber culture or just simply internet culture. In the same way that other cultures in the world have there own customs and rules the internet cultures has adopted its own set of guidelines for this new cyber culture. This netiquette has been developed in order to make sure the online culture is a safe and peaceful space for all new comers and veterans that come to visit the digital world. There are a set of guidelines that have become commonly accepted when following proper netiquette.

The first thing to remember when communicating online is to remember that there is always a human on the other side the communication. One of the aspects of the internet is that can give anonymity to anyone on it, this makes it harder to remember that you are still talking to a human and that you should treat others on the internet how you would treat others in person.

Another thing to remember in order to have good netiquette is that you should always be aware where on the internet you are. Some topics of discussion that are appropriate in one side of the internet might not be appropriate in another. For example talking about personal experiences and sharing personal details about your life can be acceptable on platforms such as Facebook, but other websites such as business and banking websites might not be the best place to share about yourself.

Respecting others on the internet isn’t just about treating them with resect its also about respecting there time. It is good netiquette to stay on topic and to not spam users with unrelated topics or misleading ideas that don’t have to do with the conversation at hand. Staying on topic and making your arguments precious is a good way to not waste the time of others that might view your online work.

There are other rules out there and each side of the internet has its own netiquette rules they would like visitors to follow. The website reddit is a good example of internet netiquette. The website hosts discussion threads on specific topics, at the top of the discussion thread is a specific set of rules that should be followed when posting on the thread. Most of the discussion threads on reddit have the basic netiquette guidelines of no abuse and no off topic discussion, but other threads add on different rules specific to that thread. For example the discussion threads explainlikeimfive is a discussion thread where users pose questions and other users answer those questions in the simplest way possible as if talking to a five year old. One of the rules of this thread is that answers to questions cannot be to complex, and answers to questions that a fiver year old cant answer are removed.


It is always best to follow the basic rules of netiquette for all internet communications, but remember to look around the form you are in for rules to follow, because for different areas of the internet there are different netiquette guidelines to follow.