Netiquette – the proper way to behave on the internet

Hardly would anyone disagree that the internet has become part of many people’s daily lives. We do all sorts of things on the internet, such as getting entertainment, doing our work, communicating with other people, studying, shopping. We can say that the internet has become our new living space. How we behave online affects both us and other users that we meet. In essence, this means that there are or there should be some basic rules that we need to follow on the internet – a sort of etiquette or, in more precise words, netiquette.

Be nice

First of all, it is common sense that in the online world we should be nice the same way as in the offline world. Although this may sound like the usual piece of advice that you hear from your mom or dad, it is shocking to find out that many people break this rule online. Being able to interact with strangers without meeting them face to face may make us believe that we have a sort of freedom to say and do whatever we want. However, we should remember to think twice before we do this because the other person we are interacting with online is just as human as we are and they can get hurt the same way we can.  

Furthermore, respecting others also involves respecting copyright laws. Try not to post any content that you didn’t create yourself without asking for permission from the original creator first.

Once on the internet, always on the internet

Another thing that we should keep in mind is that whatever we post on the internet may stay there forever. Even if you have deleted your post, someone could’ve taken a screenshot of it, so you should think again before you decide to post something that might do you harm in the future. Your future employers may decide to search for information about you online and having your embarrassing posts pop up wouldn’t be ideal.

Be brief

Many things on the internet are instant, so if you want to grab someone’s attention, you should keep your posts and messages brief. Many people use the internet when they have nothing else to do, so keeping your posts short is the way to go. If you want to discuss a sensitive topic, breaking it down into smaller pieces will do you, and the others, a huge favor.

Get familiar with the internet lingo

The internet has given birth to a new way of communicating and expressing ourselves, so you should learn some of the most common online acronyms. Some of them include: BRB – be right back; TTYL – talk to you later; LOL – laughing out loud; BTW – by the way; POV – point of view; TL;DR – too long, didn’t read; JK – just kidding; TBH – to be honest; (N)SFW – (not) safe for work.

Protect your personal information

Last but definitely not least, you should protect your personal information on the internet at all times. Everything on the internet is generally available to anyone and this can lead to misuse of personal information. This means that you should never give out your personal information if you don’t know who you are talking to or you aren’t sure that your information will be safe.

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