Even though internet etiquette can be complicated, the old rules of etiquette still apply.
Courtesy always means being considerate of others. Making others feel comfortable is the basis of all kinds of etiquette, be it table manners or the internet.
It is easy to be rude on the internet because the internet allows you to be anonymous, unlike sitting across the table from someone who is slurping their soup. Unfortunately, some teenagers try to take advantage of this and behave poorly. They think nothing of lying, harassing or boring others. Teens need to understand that people can be hurt by an email or chat room discussion that is hateful.
Teaching your teen or pre-teen the etiquette of cyberspace is just as important as teaching them about table manners.
Here are some things to remember regarding Cyberspace etiquette:
- Remember there is a person behind every message.
- Be clear. You can easily be misinterpreted.
- Choose your words carefully. People can be easily offended.
- Write only what you would say in person.
- Remember that emails, internet discussions and text messages last forever.
- Respect other people’s time.
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