8 Things All Internet Noobs Do That They Shouldn’t


With the rise of the Digital Age, it’s getting more and more common to see people with bad Internet etiquette, A.K.A. netiquette. If you were born in the last 30 years, you are probably (at least somewhat) aware of the unofficial rules of the Internet, but here are 8 things that may make you an Internet Noob:


This just makes the recipient of the message feel attacked, confused, or offended. You may not mean it, but it ultimately ends up sounding like you’re screaming at them. No one likes to be screamed at. Don’t do it. I mean it, so much so that I typed it all in caps- Am I yelling for emphasis? You’ll never know.

2. They don’t respect others’ opinions.

When you’re posting something on the Internet, it’s easy to get carried away because you may not have the same accountability or feel the same pressures online as you would in-person. However, it’s important to remember that everything you post online needs to be respectful and appropriate. Just as you’re allowed to express your opinions, everyone else reserves the same rights, even if you disagree with what they’re saying. It’s unpleasant to read comments that put others’ down and hurtful especially if they’re addressed to you. Remember, the golden rule applies online too: treat others the way you would want to be treated.

3. They take days to reply.

Whether its a formal email or a personal message on Facebook, it’s important to reply promptly. When you reply fast to someone, it shows that you’re interested in staying connected with them and that you care about what they have to say. Also, chances are, if you take a long time to reply to someone, they will likely have lost interest in the conversation by the time they get your reply, leaving you high and dry. Use the Internet for what it’s meant for: quick, concise connection with people everywhere.

4. They communicate the same way with everyone.

It’s important to remember that different types of people, in different parts of the world, in different contexts, will react differently to the same message. Know your audience and tailor the message to that audience. If you’re writing a formal message to a business client, don’t use slang or abbreviations they may not know. If you’re trying to connect with someone from the other side of the world, they’re probably not going to know what “The 6ix” means. Just say “Toronto”. Remember, the person that is receiving the message was not there when you wrote it- so be clear and be considerate.

5. They don’t give credit for pictures or cite sources where necessary.

This seems like a given, but the amount of people that share information or content that isn’t theirs is staggering. Intellectual property is just as valuable, if not more, than other physical property, and if you use any sort of information in any form (text, images, videos, audio files, etc.) that doesn’t belong to you, you need to give credit where it’s due. It’s easy to forget this, especially when the content is not work or school related, but the proper etiquette is to reference the original creator of that content.

6. They’re sarcastic.

This has to do a lot with #4 in the sense that everyone will not receive your message the way you intended them to. Using sarcasm is a huge risk online because it almost never gets translated the way the writer intends, and can ultimately offend others. Similarly, be careful with the jokes you make online because the person on the other end may not know you’re joking and things can get really messy real quick.

7. They use Reply All.

We’ve all been victims of the Reply All button in any email platform. People don’t like reading things that are irrelevant to them because it’s essentiall a waste of their time. Unless your message needs to be sent to the entire group, use the Reply tool so that everyone doesn’t receive an email that wasn’t meant for them. This is also a very easy way to share information that wasn’t intended to be for the entire group. Be mindful of who you’re sending your messages to so as to avoid breaching others’ privacies.

8. They don’t proofread what they’re posting.

This is simple- people need to understand what you’re trying to say. Before you hit the “Send” button, have a quick read over your message to make sure your spelling and grammar are correct, and also that you have said what you needed to say and there is no room for confusion in your message. It will save you and everyone else a lot of time if your message makes sense. Proofreading your messages is also a great way to maintain your online brand. One of the best things about the Internet is that you actually get to take back your words and edit them to make them sound better. Take full advantage of this and make yourself look better.

The Internet isn’t going anywhere, so if you’re someone who isn’t entirely sure about the best practices to use online, use this list to make sure you don’t become an Internet Noob.