- 21 October 2014
The type of person you are relates to the type of friends you have, the type of relationships you have, the type of jobs that you can get and so forth. The person you are online is also important. You are what you write and share, so take responsibility for your actions at all times.
Online Etiquette simply means courtesy to others online. If you wouldn’t say or do something offline, don’t do it online. Online behaviour shouldn’t just be an afterthought. If you type something, you had better mean it.
Words are powerful. Just as they have the power to motivate and inspire, they also have the ability to hurt and harm others. If you think something you have written will embarrass someone, get them into trouble, compromise their privacy, or stir up drama, keep it to yourself. Better yet, delete it.
Whatever you’re doing or sharing online can be viewed by anyone with internet access. This includes videos, text or comments you make, photos you upload and more. Remember that once something is out there it’s out there online for a long time – if it ever really goes away. Be mindful of what you publish and share and don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t write on a postcard and send in the mail.
Like drinking and driving, or driving and texting, emotions and the internet don’t mix. Think about what you’re saying and how it will be interpreted before you say or share something. If you’re angry or upset about something, wait awhile until you’ve cooled down before responding. You could even put your thoughts down in a journal, away from everyone’s eyes but yours.
Did you know that most job recruitment agencies look at your online reputation before hiring? If you have unsuitable photos or videos, inappropriate comments or Likes and concerning lifestyle choices, these may cost you a job. Your online image could also cost you your friendships, your relationship, a place at school or university, a place on a team or group and a may even cause a whole lot of humiliation.
Top 10 Tips for Proper Online Etiquette
- Act don’t react
- Keep private matters private
- Use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation
- Be careful what you share
- Be conscious of who will read your posts
- Be your kind self
- Keep your password a secret
- Report cyber-bullying
- Credit someone if you use something they created
- Take responsibility for everything you do online
Remember above all that the information you share about yourself is the one thing online that you have complete control over, so use this well. Use the internet as a marketing tool for you, your life and your future success.
What can you change about the way you interact with people online?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leigh-Chantelle runs Epicentre Equilibrium providing training and consulting for Online Etiquette Education and Social Media Marketing. Contact Leigh-Chantelle to find out more on how you can meet the challenges of the digital age, improve your online etiquette, upgrade your online social skills and educate and empower yourself online.
This article was published originally on the Teenage Girl's Survival Guide and was one of the articles selected for the website launch in early April 2012.