What is netiquette?

Netiquette is the correct or acceptable way of communicating on the internet.

Why is netiquette important?

You should have good manners in the real world and on the internet.

The rules of Netiquette

  1. Remember the human: this simply means do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. It is easy to forget that you are actually talking to another human with feelings just like you. Humans tend to say more harsh things online than they would in the real world, in proper Netiquette that is not acceptable. When you text or email someone you need to remember that your words are written and are stored somewhere on the internet where you have no access to them. Any messages you send can be saved and sent by the receiver and you won’t have any control over where it goes, so remember, don’t say anything online you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.
  2. Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life: when online, be ethical. If you encounter an ethical dilemma in cyberspace, consult the moral code you follow in real life. Breaking the law is not only bad in the real world but it is also bad netiquette. So always do your best to act within the laws of society and cyberspace.
  3. Know where you are in cyberspace: this varies from website to website. What it acceptable for one website may be rude to another so it is important to know where you are online and how to act. Look around the site and see how other people usually act on the website and follow suit.
  4. Respect other people’s time and bandwidth: It is your responsibility to make sure that you do not waste people’s time when they read your messages. You are not the center of the internet; do not forget that people have concerns other than yours.   Think twice before you waste someone’s time reading what you have to say if it is not important.  
  5. Make yourself look good online: take advantage of your anonymity, most of the time you will not see anyone face to face and will only be judged by what you have to say so spelling and grammar are important. When you make a post, you should know what you are talking about and make sense. Make sure your posts are clear and logical.
  6. Share expert knowledge: the internet was invented because scientists wanted to share information with each other quickly and eventually we all started doing the same. So do your part, do not be afraid to share what you know, sharing your knowledge is a longtime net tradition and it makes the world a better place.
  7. Help keep flame wars under control: flaming is what people do when they express a strong opinion without holding back their emotions. Although netiquette dose not forbid flaming but it does forbid the perpetuation of flam wars, they are unfair to the other people in your group they are an unfair way of monopolizing a bandwidth.
  8. Respect other people’s privacy: Do not read other peoples emails or texts; you would not go through someone’s stuff in real life so why would you do that online. Not only is it rude and disrespectful it is a violation of their privacy, the moral of this rule is to respect people’s privacy.
  9. Do not abuse your power: some people in cyberspace have more experience and knowledge than others giving them more power in a sense; this still does not give you the right to overpower and control someone else.
  10. Be forgiving of other peoples mistakes: everyone is a newbie at some point in their lives when it comes to the internet, so when someone makes a mistake, you can always point it out politely. Always give them the benefit of the doubt; you were once a newbie too.