The term ‘Netiquette’ comprises a combination of two terms, network and etiquette. It is defined as a set of rules which is acceptable for online communication and behaviour. While oral communication has benefits like facial and physical expressions, written communication lacks them which often results in miscommunication or a lack of portraying the writer’s intention. This is the reason behind signifying netiquette for ensuring responsible online etiquette.
Many websites and social media platforms have already defined their netiquette rules which users must follow. By creating such codes, communities can ensure effective interactions while also preventing unnecessary conflicts. Since online communication technology is an ever-growing field, every student must be taught about netiquette rules in schools.
Important Netiquette rules which must be taught in modern schools
Often, we come across images and posts on social media platforms that display nudity, drug and alcohol use or even the private life of a person. The images or information are shared by anonymous people so that others can see them. Once uploaded, the information can reach uncountable phones within seconds and removing them can become impossible. Some texts may even trigger a life-damaging for the victim. You must always avoid sharing private information online or the ones which may seem disturbing. Even if someone asks you to forward them to the others, simply deny it.
Prioritize real people
Whenever we converse with other people, we like them to hear us rather than getting engrossed in their tablets, phones or electronic device. Checking your WhatsApp message, email, Facebook Status or voicemail over a real person’s conversation can be annoying and hurtful. When someone of trying to talk to you, stop looking over your phone as the online world can wait for a while but the person may not. If you are expecting an important call or a message, apologize for the interruption before attending them.
Use humble language
Cursing or expressing offensive opinions must be strictly avoided while conversing on social media platforms, email messages or chat rooms. This is against social media ethics and can be tracked by messaging platforms. Users conversing in coarse language might get banned from social groups or rejected by page moderators. This can hamper your reputation as well. You must also avoid being victimized when communicating online. Choose a professional screen name and avoid nicknames or screen titles that can look offensive.
Never ignore other’s opinion
Having a left-out feeling can be damaging and the person may lose self-control. Both males and females tend to behave differently when they are been ignored by social groups. If you have a feeling about someone, you do not need to share or make the other person feel neglected. It is important to be mindful while managing large social groups as some people may like to indulge in communication while others may want to be mere spectators. Good netiquette involves taking permission to ensure that every member wants to be a part of the group.
Respecting people’s privacy
Forwarding messages without checking it can be disastrous for the sender as well as the receiver. This can create mistrust among communicators if the messages shared are unworthy. If you are forwarding any message or an image, check if the message is authentic rather than a copied one. Even tagging in Facebook posts or videos might not be liked by the tagged person sometimes. This is because whenever you tag a person, others can access the photos easily which might not be liked by the tagged person.
Receiving any unwanted message is referred to as “spam.” Spamming is the term used to describe an unsolicited email, text, or social media message in the online environment. Many of us are accustomed to receiving spam calls or emails from entities we didn’t authorize to contact us. However, our family and friends can also annoy us by continually contacting us and pleading with us to join their latest proposition. Avoiding doing this to your contacts helps keep your relationships strong. Be sure to get permission before distributing information to your contacts.
Responding to emails and messages as soon as possible
One of the important netiquette rules which must be taught in modern schools is responding to a received message as soon as possible. You must ignore or delete spam messages and crazy stuff but reply to those that have been sent by family, friends or associates. Never respond to those you do not know as it could lead you to malware attacks.
Update online information regularly
Never keep your online information inaccurate just because you do not bother to update them. For instance, if you have been unavailable for some time, change your status available once you are back again. If you cannot update your data online, the best will be to take it down rather than misguide others.
Online communication is the result of technological innovations and an effective solution to make this world one global village. Therefore, teaching netiquette rules to every student becomes necessary so that they can make new friends and connections appropriately. While power and access come with their disadvantage, we can utilize them ethically by applying standards and behavioural principles. Netiquette rules will prompt social media users about real people behind words who have emotions and needs to be handled with care.