Digital Etiquette

1 . Overview

Digital etiquette, or netiquette as its sometimes called, is a basic set of rules you should follow in order to make the internet better for others, and better for you. It’s just as important to treat people with courtesy and respect online as it is in real life. When you instant message, chat, or email someone over the Internet, they can’t see your face to tell if you’re teasing them or saying something in jest. How do you practice good Netiquette? It’s simple – just treat others as you want to be treated – with courtesy and respect. People know these rules but usually do not follow when using the Internet. This includes hacking others computer, downloading illegally, plagiarism and using bad language on the Internet. Not a lot of schools teach students how important it is to follow these rules that everyone knows. If all of us follow this it could make the Internet a better space to share and use.

2. Background of the topic including specific real examples

The internet can be a powerful tool when it comes to circulating opinion or information. Because it can be spread very quickly and is easy to access, the impact it can make can increase the dramatic. Some people are pushing for using their real names as user id to place more responsibility on people when they leave these comments.

How powerful can the internet get, even causing a person to die? On 21st of Jan 2007, pop singer U;Nee (25) committed suicide in her room. The news of her death shocked the nation and her family, friends and fans all over the world. In her music videos, photos and television appearances, she always appeared bright and happy, but what she hid from others was her depression and deep loneliness. Her sudden death brought us together to think about the fact that those offending comments can hurt a person. She could not deal with the pressure she had as a 20 years old young girl so she went on the internet for help and to cheer herself up. Unfortunately she lost her last hope by receiving large number of negative comments and criticism and being bullied on the internet. U;Nee was deeply affected by all the negative comments left by “anti-fans,” who even disparaged the singer on her cyworld homepage. It is this pain and the pressure to produce a hit record that is said to have added to her decision to take her own life.

This video gives good tips on how to create a good email. instead of just going into wirting an email, think about what your writing. Watch the video to understand more, even though it may not hold your interest that much.

3. Social / ethical aspects of the topic including how real people and communities have been positively or negatively affected and legal consequences

Techdirt did a study that showed that many people purposely responded to emails late at work, because replying to quickly implies that they do not have enough work to do. However, it appears the situation may be somewhat different when it comes to instant messaging and SMS (txt) messages. A study in the UK among office workers found that many consider it to be rude if you don't reply to IM or SMS messages quickly. That's the difference between synchronous and asynchronous communication. Even if email and text messaging may seem similar, it appears people have different expectations of different types of messaging.

external image response_email_sms_im.jpg

IM and SMS messages are most subject to misinterpretation, but other communications are less obscure.
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This are the results from a serve been asked to 10 teenagers. It seems today that most students do not know what digital etiquette is and they are offended on the Internet. According to these results teenagers are badly influenced on the Internet by inappropriate language and bullying or offending others for fun. The do not know how big the consequences can get. Today it is important that students learn and know about digital etiquette because it will be more and more in important.

4. Possible Solutions and Rules/Guidelines for Teenagers


The following information came from

1. Keep e-mails short and to the point
Office e-mail has a specific business purpose such as getting results, communicating an important fact or getting a response. The chances of quickly accomplishing that purpose increase when your e-mail is short, easy to understand and gets to the point.

2. Write the action you are requesting and topic in the ’subject’ line
Describe what you need the recipient to do and the topic in the “subject” line. Something short and to the point. For instance: “Please review Jones proposal letter;” or “Need blueprint for Jones project.” By clearly identifying the purpose of your e-mail in the subject line, the recipient will quickly know what you are writing about; it’s easy to find; and it separates your e-mail from spam.

3. Check your grammar and spelling
Grammar and spelling are often overlooked, but remember that your e-mail may be going out to a client, a prospective client, your employees or maybe your boss. You want to look smart, not sloppy. Use any built-in spell check before sending an e-mail.

4. Be cautious. Think before you send an e-mail
It’s so easy to hit the “reply” button and write a message. This can be a problem if you act spontaneously. Temper and tone matter.
In most instances, once an e-mail is sent, it’s gone. You cannot take it back. So if you have written any harsh words or forwarded an inappropriate e- mail to several colleagues and inadvertently added your boss’s name to the distribution list, once you hit “send” they will be reading it shortly.

5. Remember that e-mail is not private
When you send an e-mail to someone, it goes through many networks before it reaches your recipient and may even leave copies of your e-mail on a server, which can be accessed. It may seem as though you are communicating only with that person (and in most instances you are); however, your e-mail can be forwarded by the recipient to others.
A number of companies, including Verizon, offer e-mail encryption products, which encrypt a sender’s e-mail message and digitally sign it. The services also verify and authenticate that the message has not been altered and prevent it from being opened by anyone except the intended recipient. Additionally, users can lock e-mails so that they cannot be viewed by others.

6. Use out of office response, if available, to alert others of your absence
Many e-mail systems and services let you set up an automatic reply advising senders that you are not available. For efficiency of communications, trigger this auto-reply tool when you are away so senders know not to expect a timely response.

7. Keep it strictly business
It is best not to use the business e-mail systems for personal communication. Use your personal e-mail instead.

8. Be courteous, considerate and responsible when writing an e-mail message
Communication via e-mail is often considered informal, but you shouldn’t treat it that way. Remember, your e-mail may be going to your boss, your clients, your prospective clients, your colleagues. Be courteous and reply in a timely manner. It’s good to have a signature in your e-mail so the recipient can easily contact you. Additionally, it clearly identifies you and your company. Before e-mailing a large file, it’s wise to alert the recipients to be sure they want the file and in case they need to make room for it.

9. Keep your computer virus free
Lastly, make sure your computer is virus-free because you don’t want to be the person sending everyone a virus.
As an aside, with the success of this book every computer journalist and writer (me included) is thinking “doh”, why didn’t I think of email etiquette as a topic for book? Just goes to show that the next hot topic may be something as unlikely as email…
  • Use technology in ways the minimize negative effects on others
Technology is a great way to connect us all, but can also be used to cause harm onto others. Harm isn't necessarily talking about physical harm, it can also mean losing a persons files on the computer, or actual possessions, like money or property. Just like in actual society, you should not be trying to harm others, and others should not be trying to harm you. For example, hackers do this all the time. watch out for them. They bad.
  • Use technology when it is appropriate//
Sometimes, its not a good idea to use technology. For example, say person A (we'll call him Bob) is sitting near to person B (we'll call him Joe.) Joe and Bob are having a disagreement over something such as messing up an assignment, etc. Joe decides to write a long, grueling and very inflammatory email. STOP. Person C (Mr. Jorb, the teacher) suggests that instead of writing an email to someone sitting near you, you can discuss it in a civilized manner after class. Should Joe have written the email, they may get into a larger argument, and someone could get hurt. However, if they discuss it after the said class, then they can be civilized and maybe become friends again.
Another example would be this. Say I (Rory) am sitting next to Spencer. We can talk about various things over MSN or AIM. However, this is using technology inappropriately because we are sitting right next to each other, and can talk like regular people. This could prevent the degrading of our English abilities, due to the fact that most people who talk on MSN talk lik ths, w/o cmplt sntncs. n us shrthnd lolkthxbai.
That is a no-no. This will just make you less likely to get an A in English, as you get more and more accustomed to using shorthand, not using punctuation, and also saying such famous quotes as Lol, BRB, Rofl, Lmao, Roflmao, or Roflcopter.
  • Respect others online: no cyber bullying, flaming, inflammatory language, etc.
  • You should not abuse other people online example sending them a message insulting there weight or size, you should also not curse at people online and you should not send spam messages because every time they check their message they will think they have a real message (and this wastes their time). You should also not repeat E-mails because every time someone checks there E-mail they will get loads of the same E-mail and that wastes there time because they think each E-mail they get is different and it is not. You should also not download programs onto public computers. You should not get addicted to being on computers or gaming consuls because you might loose your friends. you should be on an appropriate amount about 2-5 hours a day. Don't let electronics take over your life example they become so addicted that they cant get off and when they cant play they try to hurt them selfs just to get back on, and they cry for a few days if they loose something like a game or item in a game. You should not send inappropriate messages.
  • The last but most important rule is "respect others as you way you want to be respected."
  • Don't change peoples account if you know there password and don't change peoples computer background if they are not looking.
  • you should not try to send viruses to other peoples computers, because it dose not really help you and it annoys other people.
  • Dont hack electronic devices such as i pods, computers, etc

Helpful Links

Cell Phone Etiquette
This site gives you 12 rules for cell phone etiquette. It makes you a little more aware of how we use our mobiles and also, if you have no idea what digital etiquette is, how it works and how its important, mainly on the idea of cellphones though. Hopefully, following these rules, mobiles can be more pleasant to use for everyone.

List Of Digital Etiquette Sources
Basically, this is a giant list of links on anything you could possibly want. Check this site out if you need some ideas on what to write. I'm going to steal a few of the links from here and use them as links for this page.

Links to:
Action Qatar Academy
Action Vienna International School
Action Westwood School