The Basics of Netiquette

What is netiquette? Put simply, it is network-etiquette or the etiquette you practice online and in cyberspace. There’s no need to be a bully or to spam other forums. Just be consistent in your material and don’t steal other people’s work.

The Internet is a very sensitive place and for some reason a lot of people don’t understand this. When posting online people put aside their common sense and judgment and post almost everything and anything. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t share it with your grandmother or mother why post it online where hundreds of millions of people can see it? Not to mention once you’ve posted it there’s no taking it back even if you delete it, your post is now in cyberspace forever. That means years later once you’ve forgotten about a piece when you attacked someone personally and smeared their name, your children or a possible employer can find your work and there’s no doubt that will negatively affect you in the future.

Meme Created by Paige Vanderholst

When posting in forums or even on your own blog be kind and considered of people’s different views and practices. The Internet is accessible to various individuals, meaning that people all over the world with different backgrounds and values can see and read it. These people are going to have other opinions than you and just because you may not see eye to eye doesn’t give you the right to slander or bash them! People tend to forget that when you post something online you’re still talking to human being that has feelings and not a machine. Would you do it in real life? Probably not, so don’t do it online.

Another thing to be aware of is be cautious of how you post. Don’t spam pages with pointless ads or information that is irrelevant to the discussion. You’re just going to annoy other users and probably get blocked. Share you’re ideas but in a polite and respectful manner. Start debates and lively discussions but don’t take it too far.

Subsequently if you run a blog where you post about animals don’t all of a sudden bombard your audience with cooking recipes or soccer stats. You branded yourself as an animal blog so keep it consistent and give your audience what they want. The same goes for if you use hash tags. Keep them relevant to what you are posting so that your posts are easily accessible to your audience and also so that your post about puppies doesn’t end up on a WWE page.

Lastly have you ever been scrolling through a page and all of a sudden recognized a picture that YOU took or an edit that YOU made and there was no credit given to you? If you haven’t, let me just say it’s a shocking and very unpleasant feeling. Something that you put work, time and effort into and someone just steals it from you, it’s not fair. So treat people the way that you want to be treated. If you don’t like having your work stolen, simply don’t steal other people’s work.

The Internet is a very broad place and can reach a very wide range of people. You have to keep that in mind when sharing information and your thoughts. People are going to disagree with you and you are going to disagree with them and that’s fine. They, just like you do, deserve the same respect that you would give anyone offline. Be accepting, open-minded and give credit where it’s needed. The Internet is a very powerful tool that lets you interact with people all over the world, look at the positives of that and not the negatives.