Communicating effectively online can be challenging at the best of times, made even more complicated when we can’t pick up on visual body language cues to help us to respond appropriately.
With more and more communication carried out by email and messaging, it is essential to understand some basic rules for excellent online etiquette (netiquette). Netiquette is knowing what to say and how to say it to ensure that the message you want to convey is received correctly and the best outcome is achieved.
Netiquette is essentially a set of rules and guidelines for interacting with others on the internet in a personable and considerate way, take a look at casino.betmgm.com if unsure on the right way to game online.
We have also listed eight basic online etiquette rules to help stop your communications from falling foul of the socially acceptable rights and wrongs of online correspondence. We are starting with tone.
1 – Set a Respectful Tone
It’s easy to forget who you’re addressing when communicating by email, messaging, or chat-style applications. Always remember to address anyone that you work with or expect a service from with courteous respect.
Students should remember that teachers are not their friends and expect the same style of address online as they would in the classroom. In addition to proper punctuation and spelling, it’s a good idea to use respectful greetings and complete sentences without slang or excessive abbreviation. ‘Please’ and ‘thank you should be used in the same manner as you would expect to use the terms in a face-to-face situation.
2 – Think Before you Type
If you wouldn’t say something in real life, the basic rule is don’t say it in a text or by email. A passing comment uttered in the break room or in the canteen can be forgotten a few minutes later, but what you share online is part of a permanent digital record there for anyone to see.
An excellent rule to follow is if you’re comfortable standing up in a meeting and saying your message, then probably the news is okay to share.
3 – Read All Your Messages Again
Point number 3 is linked to netiquette rule 2. Take some time to read through the previous discussion post responses before writing your own. This way, you will not repeat yourself and will cut out the need to create three emails to answer any questions when one concise email covering all the points will do.
According to an article written by James Davis of drfone.wondershare.com, reading your messages back to yourself also gives you a chance to change your tone or delete anything from the email that may be irrelevant. Also, it offers the opportunity to add any information that you may have forgotten at the time of composition.
Never sending naked pictures of yourself or others; this advice applies to images of drug use pictures or drunk videos. There are specifically designed social media spaces for this style of creative outlet. It’s not a good idea to write anything online that you would not show to a prospective employer or your grandparents.
If you post something embarrassing, you lose control over who sees it, now and in the future and these momentary lapses remain in cyberspace forever. Let’s face it the person you are now is probably not the person you will be in 10 or 15 years, and in that time, you may rely on your online identity for employment or other important milestones.
5 – Be Professional and Be Kind
Online communication has an anonymity level that doesn’t exist when you’re talking to someone on a Zoom call or face-to-face. The feeling of distance or anonymity can lead people to behave aggressively, displaying bad manners when they disagree.
When writing about this exact subject, success.com says practising considerate, professional communication skills will serve you well in the workplace, whether you work remotely or sit in an office. Addressing others as you would wish to be addressed is a good rule to live by both online and in person.
6 – Grammar is Important
Yes, it is essential and just as important as a respectful tone. Bad grammar reflects you negatively, giving the impression you don’t care about what you have written or how others consider you.
7 – Sarcasm Can Backfire
By all means, be witty, but being witty and coming across as sarcastic or catty is plain bad manners. Writers at thegardian.com say that funny sarcasm only exists in real life as it can be tough to understand the writer’s intentions; we agree it’s a minefield well worth avoiding.
What may seem to you like an obvious joke to you will appear rude to those who don’t know you personally and can’t pick up on visual cues. Relaying on emojis isn’t the answer either; save the sarcasm and emojis for your best friends.
8 – Be Forgiving.
Be forgiving and remember that not everyone will understand or agree with these suggestions, and that is precisely what they are, guidelines to make life easier. Be understanding of others if they struggle with written communication. Everyone works it out for themselves eventually.
The last thing to remember is to respect people’s privacy; emails are sent to you because they are meant for you, for your eyes only, as they say in the movies. Never forward info sent to you without the original sender’s permission. Don’t blindly CC (carbon copy). Use BCC instead (blind carbon copy); excuse the old typewriter terms but abide by them nevertheless.
Not everyone in your address book wants a round-robin, and they certainly don’t want your friends email details. Save embarrassment, and don’t do it. The same goes for social media, don’t upload photos or videos with other people in them without their permission.
Finally, this is a big no, no – never sign up for newsletters or discount coupon sites with someone else’s email address; this is not funny or clever, and you may find it’s illegal or unethical at the very least.