How do you behave behind your computer or mobile devices? Well, in today’s digital world, it’s easier to harass or throw some nasty comments on a person since it doesn’t involve a face-to-face interaction. This level of connectivity has given rise to many contemporary challenges, like cyber bullying, trolling, spreading fake news, and a lot more.
Virtual world may be about having fun, but you shouldn’t forget your manners when you’re using social media and other online platforms. Every internet user has the responsibility to behave properly online. Thus, in order to be a better netizen, remember the following netiquettes:
1. Be aware of what you post online.
Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram are just some of the social networking sites people can join and use. It may seem to be a great way to drop off frustrations and may be fun to use, but make sure to do it responsibly. Before posting online, ask yourself if what is the tone of your post like? Is it true? Does it cause harm to someone else? Or is it worth sharing? Remember that everything you post online can put you at risk or can harm someone else. So, be a smart netizen.
2. Be careful of what you say.
Be attentive to the fact that you won’t appear rude, insensitive, arrogant, or sly. A hastily written bad comment can cause future embarrassment and remains there forever. Hence, be polite and be more mature when interacting with your friends, followers and audience on social media.
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3. Be mindful of privacy.
In today’s digital world, it’s very easy to take screenshots of private messages and share it to the whole world. It is an improper and offensive act that is why it shouldn’t be done at all. If you also don’t want what you share privately to be shared public, avoid doing it online.
Remember the golden rule: “Do not do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you”.
4. Avoid sharing fake news.
It is now easier for fake news to spread swiftly, especially in today’s generation wherein social networking sites becomes a trend and you can immediately share posts in just one click. Fake news can cause people to make bad decisions or can make them panic. So before sharing it, make sure you read it first and you do fact check from reliable sources.
5. Be truthful.
Speak the truth and post only what you are sure of. Plagiarizing, piracy, unauthorized downloading or sharing of content may lead to trouble in the future. To avoid these, know the difference between free and copyrighted material as well as the need for taking responsibility of what you share online.
6. Credit the source when reposting.
Always credit the creator when sharing someone else’s words, pictures, or other forms of intellectual property. This is a sign of respect and honor to the person who made it.
7. Do not engage in cyberbullying and other internet crimes.
It’s okay to act cool in social media, but getting involved in serious crimes like cyberbullying or stealing someone’s identity is not good. Never criticize a particular person without knowing the real reason behind the issue.
8. Share expert knowledge.
Instead of ranting and sharing non-sense posts on your social networking sites, why not share something more resourceful and knowledgeable? You may posts resource lists and bibliographies in the area of your profession. Keep in mind that the internet was created to share useful information, not harmful information.
9. Recognize and respect diversity.
When you are interacting with people online, it also means that you are talking to people with different cultures, behaviors, and perspectives in life. Thus, it is important to understand and respect the opinions of others, especially in the virtual world.
10. Be careful when speaking about sex, religion, or politics.
Controversial topics like sex, religion, or politics would make you want to think twice before you post extremist views online because most people wouldn’t take it lightly and you could end up in a big soup. So better be cautious and think before you post.
11. Be a human.
It can be easy to forget that you are talking to real people and not computers when you’re behind the screen. So always remember that there is another person on the other side. They also have feelings so be careful what you say, don’t be judgmental, and respect each others point of view.
12. Don’t abuse your power.
Some people online have more power or influence than others, like those who have a lot of followers. Whatever they post online will surely reach a lot of netizens since they have a lot of fans. However, being more influential or powerful does not give you the right to hurt others.
These are just some of the ways you can do to be a better netizen. So always practice proper netiquettes when you are using the Internet. Be careful of what you post online, because anything that you post might become a big issue and could be taken against you. Once this happen, it could be impossible for you to control the damages.
I hope that after reading this article, you now know that it’s important to think first before posting or sharing anything online.
Photo by Timothy Muza