Basics of Netiquette : A Guide on How Not to Mess Up Your On Line Reputation

Today we will discuss the basics of netiquettes. Netiquette is simply the etiquette you follow when online. We all reside in a virtual world and most of our interactions with friends, relatives and clients are conducted online. However many people forget that although all you see is the computer screen in front of you, in reality you are interacting with a flesh and blood human being.

So the basics netiquettes will remain the same as face to face etiquettes. This is still a human being you are trying to connect with, still a relationship you are trying to forge whether personal or professional, still a good impression you are trying to make, so even if you cannot see the person you are communicating with, it is absolutely essential to adhere to basic social etiquettes. So without any further ado, we will discuss some of the most important netiquettes :

Keep things polite : Showing basic politeness and courtesy is of course a no brainer. As in the case of any interaction, you might in fact will have a different opinion from the some of the people online. But take care never to belittle anyone’s opinion. Differ firmly, but politely. Refrain from name calling and threats. Just because you cannot see the people you are interacting with does not mean you can act like a petulant five year old.

Don’t Overshare : Public posts are pretty much set in stone, once you hit the submit button, especially in social media. So take great care, not to include anything too salacious or controversial in it. Do not reveal vivid details of how annoying/attractive your colleague is, or how you think your boss/team leader is the devil incarnate.

The internet has made communication easier, but it has also made our world very small. Your post if public will be accessible to not just your friends, but colleagues and superiors. So think thrice before throwing caution to the winds. Writing a super bitchy post about your boss/colleague might feel great at the time, but you will dearly regret it later.

Keep things G or PG rated! : Avoid attaching pictures of extreme violence and/or involving child/domestic abuse, nudity etc. Attaching X rated pictures might seem fun/edgy, but again remember, barring a few, most of the netizens are not sadomachosists with a penchant for violence.

Dont Bombard Folks with Spams : We get it that you are trying to promote/educate people about your amazing startup, but irritating netizens with product spams will turn them off. Permanently.

Do not Copy Paste : This is simple anti plagiarism 101. Do not blindly cut/copy/paste from any website. Avoid copying copyrighted material at all costs. First of all most companies double check written content for plagiarism, and moreover if you are caught by the owners of the material from you copied, you risk not just losing job but also get sued by the site.

Nothing says ”Uncouth” like Capslock mode : Even if you feel that what you have to say is extremely important/edgy etc avoid typing everything in capital letters. In the virtual world, going full capslock mode is akin to shouting. And in real life you will not befriend a person who raises their voices at the drop of a hat, will you?

Be careful while using Headers : Are they relevant? Do they match the subject of the content below? You will come across as a hypocrite if your header is about something pertaining to the new film, football etc but the content is actually a shameless promotion about your brand new product, and people will start avoiding your posts like plague.

So keep in mind, that the virtual world, is not that different from the ”real” world. If you are careless when online, you will suffer grievous consequences from being fired, to facing a lawsuit for public defamation. So be careful, be very careful how you present yourself online.

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