Inconsiderately Polite

College Students' Views on Etiquette Online

Pecha Kucha and Narratives

on May 2, 2013

Here is our presentation on Pecha Kucha: Etiquette! Enjoy! (:

Megan S.

Netiquette, or network and Internet etiquette, is a new cyber word created because of the new Web 2.0 technologies and is gaining popularity with the increased use of online spaces.  Etiquette has always been a part of our culture, but netiquette is a new implied social code used to describe the rules that should be used in online and digital spaces.  So, How should we act online? What do we need to know? and What will happen in the future?  New rules form with new technologies and different communities elicit different etiquette rules because as Turkle mentions the Internet links millions of people in new spaces and changes the dynamic of communities and their creation.  This means that how we act online effects more than just ourselves.  There is no doubt that it can be hard to learn all the new netiquette rules because they are learned through experience and observation online and are constantly changing from site to site.  As Matthew Ingram says with all the competing forms of technology today not everyone is on the same level in using them, so we have to try to become more mindful of our online actions in different online spaces.  Netiquette rules apply to pictures, text, and videos.  It applies to what you write and post online, whether it be in online games, social media sites, or professional sites.  Netiquette is becoming a part of our culture because of the increase of new technologies and communications online.  With our world becoming one dominated by screens everywhere we look, as Kelly points out, we need to think about our actions online.  Netiquette will continue to be a commonly used term because of all the new technologies that are evolving.  Bolter already notes how technical and social interactions are changing writing.  Etiquette is different when writing with a pencil and paper than it is with a computer.  With each new technology and form of communication in different online spaces, we need new etiquette practices.  Learning netiquette rules can allow for effective communication online whether it be in terms of being yourself, security, or social media.

Jillian H.

For the most part, people seem to know how to handle things in person, but when it comes to hiding behind a computer screen, that’s when the fists go flying. The problem with etiquette online is that not everyone agrees on how to use all the different ways we can now communicate. Network Etiquette DOT Net states, “the rules of netiquette are social norms that individuals choose to follow to facilitate effective communication on the internet.”

If these rules aren’t published anywhere, how do you learn them? Unfortunately learning these rules may come from trial and error. You post something, a follower or friend doesn’t like it, and you will usually hear about it through harsh words and rude comments. And then you are embarrassed because you didn’t know that it wasn’t socially acceptable to post that online. Atwood even says, saying things you shouldn’t have is typical of social media sites.

Another troublesome thing about the different etiquette rules is that the rules change due to the purpose of the post. We all know that when we are posting in social contexts, it isn’t a problem to misspell a word, use an abbreviation, tell a joke, or post embarrassing pictures of our friends. However, when you are posting for business, it would be extremely inappropriate to make fun of your boss, and would look pretty bad if you misspelled something.

Last in, “How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live,” Johnson states that Twitter has increased audience numbers on the things we post. Great. So with more people reading our posts, there is a greater opportunity to offend someone. Look at the rapid movement of the “Two Kids and a Puppy” project.  Within 7 hours, over 1 million people had seen the picture and liked it, helping the girls reach their goal.

So my tip is, don’t post anything on a social media site like Facebook or Twitter that you wouldn’t want to say directly to someone’s face. If you are a perfect gentleman or lady in person, don’t be a brat on the internet.  This rule will generally save you the trouble of being harassed, or embarrassed, and you will be following all the right online etiquette rules!

Sarah B.

A popular netiquette rule is to be yourself, something that’s easier for many online. Websites like Twitter provide a level playing field where people can communicate with their favorite authors or celebrities. People become more honest when dealing with others that would normally make them star struck. As we can see in Margaret Atwood’s blog post, “Atwood in the Twittersphere,” her thousands of followers correct her grammar, offer her advice, and even call her an old lady, none of which would be considered acceptable offline. But Atwood doesn’t mind, saying that it’s like have thousands of ‘precocious grand children.”

These rules of etiquette are almost never made by a website’s creator but by the users. This makes sense when you consider that most of the new content on the web, according to Kevin Kelly’s ‘We are the Web,’ is created by us. Wesch describes a similar process in his “Anthropological  Introduction to Youtube.” He talks about popular videos being created and recreated by us. It is expected that we add our own touches and opinions to things that already exist.  The combination of user creation and self expression leads people to create new communities based off common interests with their own sets of rules. It becomes possible to expand the idea of being yourself. I can be Sarah Borja the Rowan University student as well as Sarah the fairy princess zombie huntress, and both are ‘me,’ depending on where I am.

Us creating the rules can also be negative. As stated in Felix Clays Cracked article, it seems society as a whole has decided it’s okay to act like a jerk on the internet. There’s nowhere else where you can find people vehemently angry and ranting about free entertainment they themselves sought out.

Although proper netiquette is to be yourself, other aspects of netiquette have to do with keeping certain things private.

Nicole M.

Web 2.0 tools have increased the amount we write and provide information about ourselves. It is important to know how to keep your information secure and your profiles private.

Having multiple “selves” through profiles, accounts, and usernames on the internet is very common. Kevin Kelly states “With the steady advance of new ways to share, the Web has embedded itself into every class, occupation, and region” and all of those people are sharing their information. Two of the main rules on state that you must use discretion and you must be conservative with the information you share.

Avoid listing as much personal information as possible. Once something is written on the Internet, it is out there forever, which means any user can find it. This puts you in danger of having your information used by companies, websites, or stolen. Social networks have given advertisers access to private user data, so information can easily be compromised. Charles Duhigg states in his article, “How Companies Learn Your Secrets,” that companies can buy personal data about you and create extensive profiles. This is all created by information you put out there, frequently through Web 2.0 tools.

Opportunities to give our information happen every day, like: credit card numbers with online shopping and an About Me’s. This is now second nature to us, but it is an easy opportunity for online criminals to steal information. Anything put out there can be used by someone else if you don’t take the proper protection and safety precautions.

The amount we write about ourselves has increased since the creation of Web 2.0 tools, as well as the amount of access to other people’s work. Obey copyright laws; just because it is easy to access information, does not mean you are able to steal it. University of Pittsburgh conducted a study that said most internet users unintentionally break copy right laws or think copy right laws are no longer in effect, but they are still in effect in cyberspace. In the future, these copy right laws will continue to become more strict to protect original work.

Keep your information safe and follow the laws set in place for internet users to ensure the most safety and privacy possible on the internet and guarantee the safe use of other’s information.


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