Inconsiderately Polite

College Students' Views on Etiquette Online

Children and Online Etiquette: What Do They Need To Know?

on April 27, 2013

I began to think about how etiquette online will effect this generation of children that are growing up in this booming age of new technologies.  As it seems, there is no way to avoid the technology that will most likely become a large part of children growing up in this age of evolving technological devices.  As Kevin Kelly states in his article “Becoming Screen Literate” that, “Everywhere we look, we see screens.”  It is becoming a part of our culture.   Children need to be aware of etiquette online, also known as “netiquette,” because it directly affects them and is going to be a daily part of their lives.

While it may be easier for children growing up in this age of technology to adapt to new technologies because they have seen it since they were young, they may not know all of the “netiquette” rules.  As Laila Weir states it the article “Behaveyourself.com:  Online Manners Matter” that, “Understanding how to interact online safely and effectively is, and will be, ever more critical.  As today’s students grow older, they’ll be using the Internet to apply to colleges and jobs, and to communicate with colleagues.”  Children and students in this generation will be more likely to use the Internet to do these types of activities.  How they act online, what they say, and how they portray themselves will matter.  It is a different world now because it used to be that you did a lot of tasks, like applying for a job, by interacting face to face.  The person could interpret what you were saying easier because they could directly hear and see you.  Nowadays, people are using the Internet to apply to jobs and communicate with others.  It can be hard to tell if you are saying something in a certain way online, through an email or message, because people cannot read your body language or hear your voice directly.  People may take what you say in a different way than you intended.  This is why as Weir states, “Yet our children, however much they seem to have been born with iPods growing out their ears, haven’t learned to handle digital communications by osmosis, any more than they innately knew how to write a resume or hold a fork.”  So, even though children are using technology at a young age, they are not innately born with the online etiquette skills that are so important in this day and age.

With this in mind, I think that parents and educators need to begin to teach children what netiquette is, especially when they begin to use social networking sites.  It needs to be known that what you post online can have consequences and come back and affect you in the future.  I think that being careful about what you post on social media sites, or say about others, is one of the biggest etiquette rules to follow.  Children and students need to be able to communicate online in an effective manner because, let’s face it, we are turning into a culture of screens and technology.  A lot of things done face-to-face can now be done online, and it seems to be the most natural way for this generation of children and students to communicate.  With guidance about what the rules of etiquette online are, I think that this generation growing up in this booming and evolving world of technology, can use it to their advantage, communicate effectively, and learn how to appropriately present themselves online.

Here’s a site that you can use to help teach children about manners and etiquette online:  http://www.commonsensemedia.org/advice-for-parents/manners-digital-age

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3 responses to “Children and Online Etiquette: What Do They Need To Know?

  1. sarahbfaerie says:

    It’s weird to think about netiquette being taught in schools. Could you imagine an elementary school teacher having a lesson on how to act on sites like facebook? But I totally agree that things like this are going to have to be taught in schools. At this point in time, kids are required to use the internet for their schoolwork, so it makes sense to teach them about how to navigate it and how to act on it.

  2. apfander says:

    This is a crucial aspect for potential teachers. Students that we are going to be teaching might not know the difference between professional language and internet “lingo”. I know through my experiences in the Writing Center and tutoring students on the elementary level, many of them use this lingo in their writing. Yes, technology has been a huge part of our lives ever since we were born and it is just going to get bigger, but I can’t stress how important it is so make sure that students can differentiate between being professional and playing around. Most times, it will be up to us, the teachers, to get this crucial point across.

  3. This is definitely an important issue for current and future educators. My 11 year old sister has an account on a children’s social networking site called GirlsGoGames and she constantly tells me how rude people are on it. She asked me once when a girl said something mean to her online “I would never say that to someone in person, why would she say it there?” and that’s crucial for children to understand. If you wouldn’t say something to someone directly, do not post it online. It’s just the polite and human thing to do.

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Inconsiderately Polite

College Students' Views on Etiquette Online

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