When I first got online ‘back in the day’ I was educated on certain rules of the road, certain current behaviours cause me to wonder if the idea of netiquette is changing.
These are the basic netiquette rules I remember:
- Check your spelling and grammar as best you can. With today’s internet browsers you can even turn on spell check to make sure you are not misspelling any words.
- ALL CAPS means shouting and use should only be to emphasize something, more about that later.
- Be honest online, but don’t trust people with all your personal information use discernment about how much you share with that stranger or strangers you are chatting with.
- Be yourself online it is so much easier.
- Don’t involve yourself in insult wars, they only feed the fire.
- Behave online as you would in real life and remember that there are real people on the other side and they also have feelings and issues.
- Don’t spam people with a lot of posts, this is especially important when sending emails and in chat rooms. Large HTML posts with ASCII (making pictures using your keyboard like this: !@#@!@@) is very disruptive to the conversation.
- Join in a conversation, don’t demand that others just start speaking to you. Playing the “woe is me, I am being ignored” schtick is just bad manners.
- Be wary of spammy posts with lots of links, they often lead to sites where viruses, trojans and who knows what else can be added to your computer.
My pet peeve is people who use All Caps, I literally flinch when I see more than 2 or 3 words in all caps. It also creates a perception in my mind that this is not someone I want to deal with a lot. All Caps doesn’t make it easier to read, it actually makes it harder to read because the words all sort of start to run together since there is no change case size.
I understand that the internet population is aging as more people get online. But there are things you can do to see the screen better. You can change your resolution on your computer screen so that print is larger. You can also ‘zoom’ in and increase the font size on your internet browser.
I actually have my zoom set at 125% now because the print is getting smaller, it was either that or move my monitor closer to my face because I would never use all caps unless I needed to.
I guess it just makes me sad that it seems to me people are only thinking about their own personal well-being and not how others might perceive them online. I also don’t want to end up with a permanent flinching tick.