This morning on the Son Rise Morning Show with Brian Patrick, we discussed the topic of “Netiquette”, defined on Wikipedia as “a set of social conventions that facilitate interaction over networks, ranging from Usenet and mailing lists to blogs and forums”. A recent conversation with my teenage sons, both of whom I consider to have terrific manners, reminded me that some things we moms may take for granted are not always apparent to our teens or younger children.
A few consistent themes emerge when discussing netiquette:
- Learn and employ the art of thank you notes – When presented with a gift, a handwritten thank you note is always in order. After a job interview or other professional courtesy, an immediate email followed by a typed thank you letter is appropriate.
- Avoid email gaffes – Don’t automatically “reply all”, use BCC appropriately, avoid “text speak” or bad abbreviations and respect privacy issues. Don’t send emails in anger – when in doubt, save a draft of your work, walk away, say a prayer and return to it thirty minutes later.
- Be consistent – Some folks employ a personality online that is not consistent with their “IRL”(in real life) values and beliefs. Choosing anonymity online in public forums is your choice, but remember that your actions online also affect the person you are inside. Don’t be “that guy” – avoid flame wars, be gracious, be courteous and reflect yourself and your family appropriately.
I found a terrific, concise guide to Netiquette by Virginia Shea here. Today, take a few moments to discuss these topics with your children on the way to school or at the dinner table. You’ll be amazed at what you learn from them! This conversation is continuing at my Facebook profile, so jump in with your comment below or on Facebook to share your insights on Netiquette.
Here’s a helpful and quick video overview on good Netiquette: