Netiquette is a loosely defined term and not knowing or not making a study of it can lead to huge mistakes and painful regrets. Here we will lay out the top three rules to follow in order to make a great impression on your fellow net-buddies – whether that be family, friends, or associates.
Today we live in a new world of communication. Something that has made our lives more convenient than ever. That could be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it. The convenience of the keyboard and online communication has lead to new terms such as LOL, IDK, ROFL, TTYL, BBL, BRB, LAWL, (see below for definitions), and more. With new terms has lead to a class of an older generation who may not know these terms and a younger, innovative generation who are pioneering and defining these terms. These new terms can sometimes, however, lead to dangerous ground. Recently, an older woman who was e-mailing with her niece about her dying mother, left the message with an end note of “LOL”. Of course, the younger niece was furious. She thought her aunt was laughing at her and demanded an explanation. So what did she mean by LOL? The answer: Lots of love. A complete misunderstanding left a poor young girl with hardened feelings for her aunt until the explanation was delivered.
Now that we know why we need to learn the top three rules for proper netiquette, here they are:
1. Is this the best way to deliver the message?
Ask yourself: what is the message you want to send and will sending a convenient textual message the best way to represent that message. If it’s anything heartfelt, something physical or something with more emotional attachment is necessary. An e-mail or message on Facebook just tells the person you didn’t feel you needed to put any energy in on their special day and that it was just convenient for you to type in a few words on the computer. An actual card or phone call goes much farther and will put you in a much brighter light than the rest of their “friends”.
2. Choose your words wisely.
We need to choose our words wisely as we can not employ the use of body language, voice tonality, or facial expressions when we use textual communication. Describing how we feel and using descriptive words like feel, see, hear, imagine, touch on, and picture, are powerful because they evoke images and understanding in our minds. This can help to discern the mood of the message.
3. Be correct with your punctuation, spelling and grammar.
Nothing is more annoying that trying to decipher a message with poor grammar and spelling. Spell checks are on every e-mail application and word processing program and cell phone. There is virtually no reason anyone should be sending a message strewed (or not strewed) with incorrect punctuation marks, ALL CAPS, or incomplete sentences. If you don’t follow this last rule, you won’t even get your message out. You’ll just leave your recipient confused at you.
In conclusion, the internet is becoming ever popular, so stay in tune with the rules of netiquette and I’m sure there will be more rules to come with time progressing and the internet getting larger and larger.
LOL: Laugh out loud; IDK: I don’t know; ROFL: Roll on the floor laughing; TTYL: Talk to you later; BBL: Be back later; BRB: Be right back; LAWL: another way to say LOL;.