I’m a big fan of ‘good manners’ – etiquette! The reality is that I am a mom who is trying to raise my children to be good people who are always kind, polite, respectful and who mind their manners. What it boils down to really, is basic human decency, good manners and etiquette!
So how does etiquette work in an online environment?
Well, there are a few simple rules you can follow that will ensure you leave your online audience and network wanting to interact with you again.
‘Sharing’ is the online equivalent of saying ‘Thank you’.
- If you put a new post out and someone shares it, like their share. It’s a small way of saying thank you.
- If someone repeatedly supports you and shares your stuff, go and see what it is they do, maybe share something of their content.
- If someone takes the time to comment on your content, you should like their comment, and maybe even reply to them.
Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face!
- I can’t stress this enough!! Hiding behind a computer screen and belittling someone else is bullying. It’s not ‘big’ and it’s not ‘clever’. Never say anything you wouldn’t say IRL (in real life).
- If you don’t like what you are reading, never forget that everyone is entitled to their opinion. If you want to enter the debate that’s your call, just do it with integrity. There’s also this amazing little feature on our computers and smartphones, the ‘x’ button on the top right hand corner. You are perfectly entitled to close your browser window, or swipe to the next screen. It’s not necessary to put someone else down for having an opinion that is different to yours. It’s best to just move on.
- This might sound like a strange one but let me break it down for you like this: If I go to the library and borrow a book and I don’t return it and then claim that it is mine, that is in fact stealing. Similarly, if you use someone else’s photograph in a post you should either get their permission first, or if you’re linking it to your site you MUST, as a minimum, credit them. If you don’t, the unspoken assumption is that you are claiming it is your photograph. It’s not. There are many sources of free material out there. Use something free rather than steal something that’s not yours.
- Just as you would pay a fine for not returning your library book, you can also be sued for copyright infringement if you use someone else’s material and don’t get their permission or credit them.
- If you want to reference work by someone else, copy the link to their article and put that link clearly in your post, thereby giving the reader the option to click back to your source.
The world itself is very small. Even the online world can come back to bite you if you don’t mind your manners and be a decent human being! It’s basic online etiquette!