We’ve all been there. You’re scrolling through your Facebook feed when you see someone post something that just rubs you the wrong way. Maybe they shared a political article that you don’t agree with, or maybe they posted about a personal experience that was really insensitive.
Whatever it is, you can’t help but feel the need to share your opinion (or even attack the other person). Before you know it, an online argument has started and everyone is getting angry.
This is why it’s so important to follow netiquette rules. They help keep the peace online and prevent disagreements from turning into full-blown arguments. In this article, we will discuss 9 of the most important netiquette rules to follow for a better
#1 – Don’t Be a Troll
A troll is someone who deliberately posts inflammatory, offensive, or controversial comments in order to provoke a reaction from other users.
Trolling can take many forms, but it always has the same goal: to get a rise out of people.
Don’t be that person. If you don’t have anything nice to say, it’s better to say nothing at all.
#2 – Use Appropriate Language
Remember that there’s a real person on the other end of your screen, and they deserve to be treated with respect.
That means no profanity, racism, sexism, or any other type of bigotry. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it online.
And if you’re not sure whether something might be offensive, err on the side of caution and don’t say it. It’s not worth offending someone over a few words.
#3 – Give Credit Where Credit is Due
If you didn’t create the content you’re sharing, make sure to give credit to the original creator.
This is especially important with images and videos. It’s easy to right-click and save someone else’s work, but that doesn’t make it yours.
If you want to share someone else’s content, make sure to include a link back to the original source.
And if you’re unsure whether something is copyrighted, don’t share it. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
#4 – Keep It Relevant
Before you hit the send button, ask yourself if what you’re sharing is relevant to the person you’re sending it to.
If it’s not, don’t send it. No one wants to be bombarded with irrelevant information. And if you’re unsure whether something is relevant, err on the side of caution and don’t send it.
Relevancy is especially important in professional contexts. You wouldn’t want to clog up your boss’s inbox with things that have nothing to do with her or his job.
The same goes for group emails. Make sure everyone on the thread needs to see what you’re sending. If not, send it as a direct message instead.
#5 – Mind Your Manners
Just like in real life, manners are important online.
That means using please and thank you, not interrupting others, and being respectful of other people’s opinions – even if you disagree with them.
It’s easy to forget our manners when we’re behind a screen, but it’s important to remember that there are real people on the other side.
#6 – Don’t Spam
Spamming is the act of sending unsolicited messages, usually for commercial purposes.
Not only is it annoying, but it’s also a quick way to get yourself banned from most online communities.
If you wouldn’t do it in real life, don’t do it online.
#7 – Be Thoughtful With Your Word
The internet gives us a lot of anonymity, which can be both good and bad.
On the one hand, it allows us to speak our minds without fear of retribution. On the other hand, it’s all too easy to say something we wouldn’t normally say in person.
Before you hit send, take a step back and consider how your words might be interpreted. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it online.
#8 – Don’t Overshare
We all have that one friend who overshares on social media. You know, the one who posts way too many pictures of their dinner/children/pet/etc.
Just because you can share something doesn’t mean you should. Use common sense and err on the side of caution.
Oversharing can also include sharing too much personal information, such as your address, phone number, or social security number.
Keep your private information to yourself and only share it with people you trust.
#9 – Be Positive
The internet can be a negative black hole. It’s easy to get sucked in and spend hours reading negative comments and articles.
Try to focus on the positive and use the internet as a way to connect with others who share your interests.
When you do come across negativity, don’t add fuel to the fire – resist the urge to engage in a battle of words.
This doesn’t mean you should never stand up for yourself or others, but think about how you can do so in a constructive way.
In order to have a positive online experience, it is important to follow some simple netiquette rules. By being mindful of the way we communicate with others online, we can create a respectful and friendly environment for everyone. Have you tried any of these netiquette rules? What has been your favorite tip? Let us know in the comments below!