Inconsiderately Polite

College Students' Views on Etiquette Online

What the Hell is “netiquette”?

Apparently I just broke one of the many “netiquette” rules by using hell in the title. For those of you out there who don’t know the word netiquette ( much like myself until five minutes ago), “netiquette” is a fancy word for how to act properly on the internet, for example: do not use hell in a title because you may offend some people. According to www.networketiquette.net, “netiquette” is:

1.The social code of network communication.

2. The social and moral code of the internet based on the human condition and Golden Rule of Netiquette.

3. A philosophy of effective internet communication that utilizes common conventions and norms as a guide for rules and standards.

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Now, at first glance this seems like a great idea! Everyone using the same rules and regulations for how to act properly on the internet! YEAH RIGHT! While I do believe there is an unwritten social code for how to properly act on the internet, I am fully aware that it is not followed by everyone. Somedays it even feels like no one follows it when I take a glance at my Facebook page. I am not trying to hate on the idea of netiquette- do not get me wrong. I truly think that everyone could use a little netiquette. I would go as far to say that I think this is one of the things that should be taught to all students because some of the generally agreed upon rules are useful, like: do not spam, be yourself, use discretion, etc. Acting properly on the internet is very similar to acting properly in person and quite frankly I think all people could use a little lesson in both.

But that is where the problem begins! People already act improperly every day face to face, so naturally this only worsens once they get behind a screen. I see two major problems with the idea of netiquette. 1. There is no agreed upon set of rules, standards and conditions. This causes the issue of what do you follow and what rules should you ignore. 2. There is no way to police the breaking of proper “netiquette”, which truly is a shame because some people should have their interent licenses revoked!

I am sure I will be discussing this topic further, but these are just some of my initial thoughts. I suppose it works the same as everything else you try to teach people- give them the tools and hope they actually use them. Everyone could use a little netiquette, not only for their own safety but the safety of others they run into on this crazy world wide web.

As for myself, I could use a few netiquette lessons and definitely know some people that should have to take full blown courses. This is including my grandma who clearly did not get the memo of Not All Caps.

Nana on my facebook wall: NICOLE DID YOU GET MY PHONE CALL. TELL YOUR MOTHER TO CALL ME BACK. ALSO, BRING EGGS OVER TO THE HOUSE LATER. WHO IS THAT BOY IN ALL OF YOUR PICTURES. PULL YOUR SHIRT UP. XOXOXO NANAfacebook grandma

35 likes later…

Me commenting back on facebook wall post: Gee nan, thanks.

I am sure you have all had some of these similar experiences, so feel free to forward this link of helpful netiquette tips. And do not be ashamed to share it on your facebook wall, I know I did!

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Inconsiderately Polite

College Students' Views on Etiquette Online

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