Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Reflection on Netiquette

What is Netiquette? The Study Guides and Strategies website describes, Netiquette as E-guides on social interaction and communicating electronically. (Study Guides and Strategies, 2008) As early as 1988, the term Netiquette has been in use. (Netiquette, 2008) According to Sutton, who is cited in the Wikipedia Netiquette article, Netiquette is simply classic rules of common etiquette, as taught, for example, by Miss Manners. (Netiquette, 2008) Sutton observed that the comparison between the 1922 etiquette rule by Post and a 1994 Netiquette rule by Virginia Shea, showed that while the words might have changed; the goal of the advice (“Know something before you speak.”) remains the same. (Netiquette, 2008) It is important to have guidelines for all types of electronic forums, such as, live chat, Internet forums and mail lists. The guidelines provide information on how to use appropriate language, behave and socially interact appropriately with others on electronic forums. Although it can be a challenge, communicating clearly on the internet without being misunderstood is possible.

For example, when we interact with someone face to face, we have the opportunity to provide facial expressions or body language to convey our message. However, when using an electronic forum, such as blogs, newsgroups, forums, websites and even a public chat session, information you post is now public. (Master the Basics: Netiquette, 2008) Your messages may be misunderstood if they are not developed to convey what we want them to say or mean. (Study Guides and Strategies, 2008) Also, consider the practice of adding emoticons also known as smileys, created from the characters on your keyboard. These few characters can add personality and humor to your messages. Below are a few of the popular standardized emoticons.

(Mastering the Basics: Netiquette, 2008)

By mastering the basics of Netiquette guidelines, we can communicate clearly electronically, use appropriate language, socially interact with others respectably and safely while making a good impression. Safety is a very important consideration to remember when posting on an electronic forum on the Internet. When information is posted online, even something common as posting pictures on sites such as, MySpace or FaceBook, it becomes available in the public domain and can be seen by anyone in the world, including friends, family, future employers and even criminals. (Study Guides and Strategies, 2008) Here is a clip that serves as a good example of why it is important to be careful on what we post on an electronic forum. Please click on the link to play clip. (Mastering the Basics: Netiquette, 2008)

In addition, the following is a list of some of the Netiquette guidelines from the Study Guides and Strategies website, to consider and that may be helpful the next time we think about posting information on an electronic forum.

• Be selective on what information is posted.
• Use appropriate Language and do not use all capital letters, it is equal to screaming or yelling.
• Do not respond to “flames” or personal attacks.
• Be brief with messages, people may be more inclined to read it.
• Make a good impression, a message or content represents the individual
• Cite others’ work that is used
• Do not send SPAM to others, it is electronic junk mail.
• Do not forward chain letters-delete them. (Study Guides and Strategies, 2008)

For a complete detailed list of Netiquette guidelines, please click on the links below: or
(Study Guides and Strategies, 2008) (Netiquette, 2008)

Next time, when visiting an electronic forum, remember to have good manners. Follow the Netiquette guidelines and consider what is appropriate for you to post, keeping in mind that it will now be available in the public domain and can be seen by anyone in the world, even criminals.

Works Cited:
Study Guides and Strategies. Netiquette E-guides on Social Interaction and Communicating Electronically. Retrieved, January 31, 2008 from

(No author annotated.) Netiquette. Retrieved January 29, 2008 from

(No author annotated.) Master the Basics: Netiquette. Retrieved January 30, 2008 from


Cole said...

Great Blog! Great advice. I'll do my best.

Marcy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marcy said...

Maribel, What a thorough article. The addition of the YouTube video hit the nail on the head. What we say online does matter! Don't be careless and post embarrassing or private things you normally wouldn't say to someone directly. Great message!