Inconsiderately Polite

College Students' Views on Etiquette Online

Pecha Kucha and Etiquette Reflections

on May 3, 2013

In the beginning of the semester, my Introduction to Writing Art’s class at Rowan University was split into three modules. Students would spend 4 weeks with each of 3 professors, learning about different aspects of writing. For my 3rd module, I was presented with the topic of The Future of Writing. For our big assignment for this class, we were asked to create a different kind of presentation called a Pecha Kucha. This style of presentation follows the outline of 20/20/1. This means that there are 20 slides, which are shown for 20 seconds, with all slides containing only 1 image. This blog post will capture why I chose to present one slide the way I did, and what I have learned about the topic of Etiquette.

To read through the narrative of the presentation, and see the slides we used, please refer to my previous blog post, “Pecha Kucha and Narratives.”

A Walk Through a Slide

I think throughout my entire section of my presentation, my favorite slide was when I discussed how you can learn the rules of etiquette on various social media sites. I approached this topic by trying to remember my first experiences using Facebook and Twitter. I found that when I first started to use these social media sites, I sat quiet for a while. For about a week, I watched the types of posts that people were making. I would check back to see the amount of “Likes” or “Comments” on Facebook, or “Retweets” and “Favorites” on Twitter that each post got. I seemed like this was the best thing to do because I am the type of person that does not like confrontation. I needed to make sure that my first post was not going to be something that someone was easily offended by. I did not want my first week on Facebook or Twitter to end in a “cyber fight.” The image that accompanies this part of my narrative came directly from my Facebook newsfeed. A couple weeks ago, people on Facebook started changing their profile pictures to equal signs on red backgrounds which was meant to represent their acceptance of Gay Marriage and Gay Rights. I am aware that everyone is allowed to have their own opinion on societal topics, but this post was completely inappropriate. The person that posted this was put in her place by the 87 comments telling her that she was being rude for posting such nasty words. This is where my idea for trial and error came from. When posting on Social Media sites, it is tempting to post everything and anything that you are feeling. However, etiquette rules state that people need to be aware of who their audience is in order to maintain a friendly environment. This person obviously did not have the right audience for this post.

Etiquette_facebook

By quoting Margaret Atwood in this section of my narrative, I wished to show that people in the writing world are aware that Social Media sites tend to be places where people say things they shouldn’t. It also helped show that everyone learns the etiquette rules by testing out the waters and observing others. If I had to do this project over again, I might change the narrative of this section to represent more of the trial and error part of social media etiquette instead of making up a scenario to go with the picture. I really believe that the picture speaks for itself, and instead of further explaining the picture, the presentation would have been more effective if I had explained my point further.

 

What I Learned about my Blog Topic

Over the last couple of weeks, I have blogged about the topic of Etiquette on the Internet. I especially paid close attention to etiquette when it comes to social media. I have always been interested in this topic because I have been exposed to many fights on social media sites due to lack of Etiquette. Along with etiquette, we were asked to consider how Web 2.0 tools are affecting the topic we are using for our blogs. Although I have heard the term, Web 2.0, before, I was never aware of what it truly was. The readings for this class really opened up my eyes to the amount of resources are available on the Internet, and the rapidly changing way things work. Even though I paid close attention to etiquette and social media, the topic of etiquette as a whole really opened up new paths for me to explore. After reading lists and lists of rules people think you should follow on the Internet, I started to create my own. Of course my list included numbers of things other people had already thought of, it also went off in its own direction. By researching the topic of etiquette, the most important thing that I learned is that etiquette is constantly changing due to the change in purposes of writing, where we are writing, and who is writing. It is important to keep an eye out for new etiquette rules as things change around us, because we do not want to be left behind posting things that are no longer appropriate. Just like writing technologies are constantly changing and improving, the rules of etiquette are changing too. Another important thing that I learned is that it is hard to write down the etiquette rules for all communities of people. What is appropriate to say in one place may not be appropriate to say in another. People need to be aware of this shift and try hard to stay connected to what is allowed to be posted and what is not. With Twitter, the number of people that can now see our writing as increased, according to Steven Johnson in “How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live.” It is important to remember who your audience is when composing a Tweet or a Facebook Status. Although some people crave the online drama of posting inappropriate things and then fighting about it, I certainly do not. After reading all these articles and blogging about them, I know that I am a lot more cautious about the things that I am posting, and I always think before I Tweet or send a Facebook post.

 

 

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