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Netiquette Schmetiquette…
October 1, 2008, 9:57 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

If you are like me, you’ve probably felt foolish after misinterpreting the tone of an email or blog comment. There’s been many times after reading an email that I’ve thought that the person was annoyed or apathetic to our topic of conversation. There’s also been times that I wished that someone had not shared, what I assumed to be a confidential email with someone else.  Maybe I’m just too sensitive, or it could be that there was a direct violation of “netiquette.” Netiquette is a new term that literally means “network etiquette,” but more importantly it refers Internet/Email etiquette.

Seriously? There’s a book of etiquette for the Internet? Well, of course! Etiquette has seeped into the fabrics of almost all institutions around the world…religion, sports, dining, office, family, and now the Internet! The bottom line is that as the popularity of an institution grows the necessity for rules of conduct always arise.  In general people need to find a set of common rules from which they can begin working together.  In fact, there are many different rules of netiquette for different on-line arenas (ie: international communications, blogs, forums, emails, academia, etc).

As we, the world, increase our reliance on electronic communication it will be become more important that people develop their on-line social skills and soft skills to get what they want out of people they’ve never met. Pretty much all internet sites that allow communication of any kind will have a code of conduct of some sort listed within their terms of use. I’ll share some of the netiquette information that I found while researching,  however I think it should be said that they all lead to one overall theme…treat others as you would like to be treated!

Here are some of the reoccurring rules of “netiquette”:

  • Don’t overuse CAPS LOCKS (it relays anger and is annoying to read)
  • Don’t overuse exc!a!mat!on po!nts!!! (they lose their intent!!!!)
  • Be realistic with response times when chatting or emailing
  • Do not spam or over-forward  hoax emails to others
  • Do not “flame” or verbally abuse people and hide behind anonymity
  • Respect others’ copyrights
  • Do your research before quoting statistics
  • Check your spelling and grammar
  • Don’t send anything you haven’t read and re-read
  • Don’t use reply-all as your default (not all situations are reply-all situations)
  • Update your anti-virus software often
  • Contact recipients prior to sending huge email attachments
  • Don’t fire off responses without thinking through the consequences
  • Don’t share emails without the sender’s consent or knowledge
  • Never communicate professional discontent via email, confront people in person
  • Break the cycle of email wars by continuing the conversation via phone


10 Best Rules of Netiquette, Yale University Netiquette Rules, About.Com: Email


Click on this picture to test your netiquette!


4 Comments so far
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Unfortunately, I see everything you describe all the time. I truly think that the people who break all these rules are not thinking about their actions. It is almost common sense to play by those rules. But, I’ve said this before; common sense is not common anymore! These rules are basic common courtesy to treating humans. We should apply these courtesies to everyone whether or not we are online or face-to-face.
The ability to be anonymous allows many unscrupulous people to get away with bashing anything that they are irritated with. I think it is important for everyone to have their opinion but there is an appropriate way of stating a difference of opinion.
As I was going down your list, I noticed that I seem to follow it. Was it because of some class I took? No, just respect.

Comment by todsouth

Very Good! Often times we become too slack in our day to day e-mails and online interactions with people we know. This causes us to be slack sometimes with people we do not know. The list that you posted is right on target. I wonder if texting will ever fall into netiquette. Texting is very informal but it is becoming very popular. I have a hard time reading blogs that are filled with garbage and filth. They use excessive language that makes me feel uncomfortable. We need to be cautious about what we say. We never know how the readers may take it.

Comment by scoutmstr25

Great post, I must say unfortunately I’m guilty of some of the don’ts listed in your blog. I spend so much time text messaging my friends and family it inadvertinly transfers over into my emails. Reading your post made me more mindful on how to respond to people and not offend them. I guess it has alot to do with common manners, I mean would I talk to people in person the way I do in e-mails. I thank you for the reminder and I’m sure all my e-mail recipients thank you.

Comment by alrosa

I have heard about netiquette before, but it was good to re-emphasis the importance. I know I am guilty of a few of the don’t as well. People truly don’t think when they e-mail if they would say the same thing if they were in person. I know I personally have been offended by what people have said in emails. I also get annoyed getting forwards from people who have forwarded this to everyone in their list and it’s a mile long email. Most of the time it’s information I don’t even care about and it gets deleted before I even open the e-mail. I know I am going to reread emails before I send them to make sure I am saying what I want to say.

Comment by tchrwannab2

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