Netiquette in Online Communication

"Eloquent speech is not from lip to ear, but rather from heart to heart."--William Jennings Bryan US politician, lawyer, orator, statesman

Learner Description:  This guide is aimed at adult learners using the internet as their primary mode of communication.

Netiquette Defined: A definition of etiquette can be defined as, " the customs or rules of behavior regarded as correct in social life” free dictionary, while using the internet it is referred to as netiquette.  Because we cannot visually see the person we are communicating with and it is virtually instantaneous, we need to be vigilant in using courtesy with our words and actions.  Our social interaction on the internet must be guided by the same norms we have in our regular face to face society.  There are ways to communicate with people on the internet without causing emotional harm and making your journey into cyberspace a pleasant one!

Why should we use netiquette? We use the internet with increasing frequency in our daily lives.  Sometimes we need to be reminded that what we say can inflict damage upon other viewers, known or unknown.  As we look at what William Jennings Bryan said, we must be respectful and mindful of and how we say it.  To be respectful of other points of view means you don’t pass judgment.  In online communication be aware that what you say can be electronically stored and messages forwarded where anyone can view the communication.  Your actions count, so make them count in a positive way even if you don’t agree.

What is good netiquette? Netiquette means good manners.  When posting online to an email or discussion board, remember that there is someone behind that post.  The person has feelings and objectives for the post.  In responding, you are also a representative of that post.  Remember to communicate with others as how you would want to be communicated with.  Make sure you use proper grammar.  Because you cannot visually see that person, write in clear and concise language.  Don’t get caught up in an online argument because something was misconstrued due to a miscommunication.