Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Netiquette – Good Manners Online

We have different rules for libraries than we do malls. We speak differently to our principal and grandma than our best friends. We have inside, outside and oh! my! gosh! voices. We know not to run in the halls and to run very fast on the field. There are different rules for different places and different parts of our lives. The Internet is the same. It’s just another place, even though it is a big part of our lives.

You already know not to type in all CAPs. You don’t use punctuation in IMs and text messages. You use smileys J to show emotion. And when you send something that could be misunderstood, you use a “JK” for just kidding. Right? Those are rules of netiquette – cyber etiquette.

What are some of the other rules, and why do we care? The less you break the rules, the less people will misunderstand what you mean. The less they misunderstand you, the less likely they will be upset with you or lash out at you. When someone thinks you launched the first attack, they are happy to launch the counter-attack. Lots of cyberbullying starts this way. You did something that hurt someone else’s feelings by accident. But it begins cyber world war 3 when they react.

Remember Take 5! in our cyberbullying materials? It’s designed to make sure you don’t do or say anything that others will react to.

Remember, too, that in addition to the rules of the online world, there are different rules for people all around the real-life world. On the Internet people from many countries will be sharing ideas, and what is normal and correct for them may be strange to you. So the rule of the game is RESPECT. Respect the opinions of others, don’t rush in and start bossing people around and thinkB4uClick!