Inconsiderately Polite

College Students' Views on Etiquette Online

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

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 “  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:


Gosh Darn Electronic Writing Technololgies

It is strange to imagine a world where all communication forms are found online or through technological devices. There is something empowering about holding a book in your hard and physically moving the pages. There is something genuine about going to the library and finding a book source for the paper you are writing. I am not against technology in any way, I just believe it will be hard to adapt to a world where books do not exist, where libraries are rows and rows of computers, and a world where everything is at your fingertips. As a future educator, the fact that there may one day be a world without a physical book for my students to hold, feel, and look at, scares me. Everything I know about how to teach my students how to read and write may become a source of pointless information. I understand that for the content area of writing, the written word is the technology itself. J.D. Bolter, in the chapter, Writing as Technology, explains, “The Greek root of “technology” is techne, and for the Greeks a techne could be an art or a craft, “a set of rules, system or method of making or doing, whether of the useful arts, or of the fine arts’” (15). Writing, of course, has its own set of rules and would be considered a useful art. During school, the content area of writing is one of the most important subjects because of the implications for the future. For me, I learned how to write using the pencil, the same way that many of you learned. However, today, there are preschoolers learning how to write the letters of the alphabet using apps on iPads. They are using their finger as the “pencil.” Bolter also states, “When one medium sets out to remediate another, it does so by claiming to do a better job” (26).

English: iPads can be a distraction to learning

English: iPads can be a distraction to learning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I do not intend on claiming that the iPad apps for writing are not helping the students learn their letters, but I disagree with the fact that they do a better job. If the students are using their fingers to write the letters, they are going to lack the physical skills and knowledge of how to hold a pencil. I understand how closed-minded I am on the subject, but I feel that if nothing is wrong with a technique or way of teaching, there is no need to fix it. I know the age of virtual classrooms is upon us, but I will hold on to every last paper and ink book that I can. If I cannot teach my students how to read and write without the use of technology, I will at least be able to teach them about how I learned how to read and write, and the differences between their generation and my own.

Read Bolter’s Chapters here!

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College Students' Views on Etiquette Online

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