“Say thank you.”
“Cover your mouth.”
“Treat others how you’d like to be treated.”
“Use your manners.”
Every parent has had to correct their kids in one way or another when it comes to manners and how to treat others. There’s a certain underlying etiquette in our society when it comes to manners and behaviors when around others. We’ve moved on from caveman grunts and groans and have adapted a modern approach to dealing with others…well, most of us have anyway.
But when it comes to the internet, some of us still have caveman tendencies. Technology has moved above and beyond what I ever thought possible. Just a short 10 years ago there was no way I’d ever thought I could watch movies on a phone or have my kids download game apps or connect with old friends via social networking. The rapid rise of these amazing abilities like forums, boards, and social networking hype, we seem to have lost touch with decency. Internet bullying has become extreme as well. Our internet manners and etiquette haven’t quite caught up to our technological advances and we should be staying ahead of the game. It’s our responsibility to teach kids that their internet life will follow them in real life (IRL) and there’s certain do’s and don’ts when interacting with others online. Enter netiquette- the online etiquette.
- When a website has a list of rules, obey those rules. There’s a reason the rules are in place and obeying the rules and regulations gives those visiting that particular site the best possible experience. Plus, not adhering to the rules can put your use of that site at risk.
- Spell check everything written.
- Do not use all caps. This indicates shouting.
- Honesty is the best policy, both IRL and online.
- Never ever give out personal information online. There’s never a good enough reason to give location updates or give out phone numbers online. Make sure kids using the internet understand this rule especially.
- Don’t send texts or emails late at night. It can wait until the next day, especially if its not an emergency.
- Only shop on sites that are secure.
- When posting pictures, make sure its nothing that will haunt you for the rest of your life. Everything that is posted online DOES NOT DIE WHEN IT GETS DELETED.
- Just be yourself. If you wouldn’t say it to someones face, just don’t say it at all. Your online reputation is just as important as IRL.
- The Golden Rule applies online too. If you wouldn’t want it done to you, don’t do it to someone else.
- Always re read everything before posting and if it violates any rule, don’t post it.
We need to realize that our online persona may as well be our “in real life” persona.. Ask yourself and your kids some questions before hitting the send button- “what kind of person do I want to be online?” or “is this how I really am?” and “would a college or future employer find me honest and credible?”
Netiquette is now a part of modern parenting. Its important to raise a generation of internet respectable kids and make this thing called “technology” safe and enjoyable for all of us.