We’re not the analogue beings we once were. Our devices, the internet and our “always-on” culture have, for better or worse, become an integral part of our lives. However, with the increasing use of technology, it is important to remember that there are still rules of etiquette that should be followed. Digital etiquette, also known as netiquette, is a set of guidelines for how to behave online. By following these guidelines, we can help to create a more respectful and enjoyable online experience for everyone.
Here are a few tips for digital etiquette:
- Don’t overshare. This means being mindful of what you post online and avoiding sharing too much personal information. Remember that once something is posted online, it can be difficult to take it back. If you are not sure whether something is appropriate to share, it is always best to err on the side of caution and not post it.
- Forgive and forget. We’ve been using social media for two-decades, and in that time, our views, and our culture have changed. We should be willing to let go of differences and move on from past mistakes. When we hold onto other people’s past opinions, it only hurts us in the long run. By forgiving others, we can free ourselves from the burden of negativity, focus on the present moment, and in turn, expect the same from everyone else.
- Have some humility. This means being willing to admit when you are wrong and being open to feedback from others. It also means being respectful of others, even if you disagree with them. Remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and we should all be willing to listen to each other.
- Think about the future. When we post something online, we should think about how our words and actions might be perceived by others in the future. What we post online today could come back to haunt us in the years to come. It is important to be careful about what we share and to think about how it might affect our reputation.
- Ask permission. Before you post something online that includes someone else, ask their permission first. This includes photos, videos, and even just their name. It is important to respect other people’s privacy and to get their consent before sharing anything about them online. This applies to children, and non social-media users as well.
- Watch your volume. When you’re scrolling through Tiktok, Insta or Youtube, it is important to watch your volume. This means being mindful of how loud you’re phone speakers are. If you are in a public place, or even your family living room, pop some headphones in.
- Slow down. It is also important to slow down when you are using social media. This means taking the time to think about what you are posting and to avoid making impulsive decisions. It is also important to be respectful of others’ time and to avoid flooding their timelines with unnecessary content.
- Seek out both sides of the argument. When you are online, it is important to seek out both sides of the argument. This means being willing to listen to different perspectives and to avoid jumping to conclusions. It is also important to be critical of the information you find online and to verify its accuracy before sharing it.
- Take a break. Finally, it is important to substitute digital for print (once in a while). This means taking a break from your screens and enjoying the offline world. Go for a walk, read a book, or spend time with friends and family. Taking a break from technology can help you to relax and de-stress. It can also help you to appreciate the simple things in life.
Follow these tips, and you can help to ensure that you are using the internet in a respectful and responsible way that won’t damage your reputation and ruin your relationships.