Netiquette is a combination of the words network and etiquette, and is defined as a set of rules for acceptable online behavior.
Similarly, online ethics focuses on the acceptable use of online resources in an online social environment.
We’ve all been there, while in a haste to get an email out or a reply sent by a certain deadline we have sent the dreaded email that was incorrect or not for that recipient. My god, I have had some shockers, when I was in Real Estate I once sent an offer to purchase the property to another keen buyer.
Not only is that totally illegal it could have messed up the whole deal, needless to say thankfully the buyers didn’t choose to burn me at the stake and apart from getting a stern talking too from my boss I came out relatively unscathed BUT it just goes to show that the slip of a send button can become quite a nightmare for anyone sending emails or just using the internet as a whole.
Then there’s the whole what is appropriate for Social Media discussion, what is appropriate to put online?
Here are some top tips to ensure you make sure your Netiquette is on point:
Read and re-read your emails
Make sure your spelling is correct, you haven’t used any swear words or slang and that the email is going to the right recipient.
There is nothing worse than unsolicited emails, so ensure even if you are pushing a product or service that you don’t email your database more than once a week as a maximum.
No one likes a bully
As I’m sure you have witnessed or unfortunately been a victim of online bullying is not cool. Maybe you aren’t aware but sending embarrassing photos of friends or acquaintances to other friends is a form of bullying and also if they are in compromising positions, illegal. Stay away from using your laptop to harass or be mean to people online, instead promote kindness and positivity on your social media channels. Trust me you will be much more liked for it!
Embrace the “Nanna Rule”
This is an easy one, if you wouldn’t want you Nan to see what you have posted online then it’s probably better you don’t post it at all. Online actions have real life consequences and if you wouldn’t do it in real life, then don’t do it online. Images of you out drunk at parties or dressed inappropriately can also ruin your chances of getting employed, employers are more savvy than ever and you can bet your bottom dollar if you are going for a job they will search your online profiles to see what you really get up to on the weekends. Unfair? Maybe a little, but that is just the world we live in now. So keep your content Nana proof and you shouldn’t have any issues.
Writing: tone, upper case, swearing
Just like text messages emails can be misconstrued, sometimes what you are trying to say as a joke or in a light handed manner can be taken quite seriously on an email so ensure that your tone of voice is always positive and upbeat. Always sign off with something like “Have a great day” or “I look forward to hearing from you” that way the recipient of the email knows you are coming from a good place.
Also ensure that your punctuation, spelling and the layout of the email is correct, nothing says lazy like an unstructured email. And finally, stay away from swearing online, it isn’t a good look, it also isn’t great on your Social Media walls. Remember Facebook isn’t a diary, keep your really personal stuff to yourself and if you need to rant, write it down to let off the steam don’t start throwing out the F-Bomb online no matter how worked up you get.
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