A Netiquette Resource for Teens

The guidelines on this page are written for teenage students. It is important for teens to understand appropriate Internet behavior when completing assignments for school as well as when using the Internet recreationally. It is also important for teens to understand the repercussions of their actions should they choose to practice poor Netiquette behavior.

What is Netiquette? Netiquette is a term created to describe proper etiquette on the Internet. Etiquette is a system of rules and conventions for social and professional behavior. When you look at a system of rules for appropriate behavior on the Inter"net", you have Netiquette. These rules are basically the do's and don't's of online communication.

Why is Netiquette Important? It's necessary to understand the differences between online and face-to-face communication in order to fully appreciate the importance of Netiquette. When blogging or chatting with someone online, it's easy to forget that the words you are seeing actually come from a person like you and me and not just a computer screen. It's easy to misinterpret what is said because you don't hear the other person speaking the words. It's easy to lash out and say the first thing that comes to mind as long as it's to a computer screen and not a person. The problem with all of this is that you are judged by your words. Once you post your words, they are out there in cyberspace for the world to see. Sure you can try to edit the post, but the words are there and they can come back to haunt you. It's important to understand Netiquette so you don't fall victim to these mistakes.

What is Cyberbullying? Cyberbullying is exactly what it sounds like. Cyberbullying occurs when a student(s) torment, threaten, harass, humiliate, embarrass, or target another student on the Internet, through interactive and digital technology, or through the use of cell phones. It can be done directly through words/messages on social networking sites like Myspace, it can be done through pictures, blogs, online interactive games, etc. Cyberbullying can also be done by using others to bully without the accomplice's knowledge. For example, a bully can send messages to a student's parents that appear to come from a teacher that imply the student is not doing his/her work or got in trouble at school. In turn, the parents will punish their child and without even knowing, the parents have become an accomplice to cyberbullying. It's extremely important to help stop cyberbullying if you know it is occurring.

Quick Tips for Netiquette