How is Your Netiquette?

Online Communication is one of the cheapest, fastest and most effective tools that human civilization has ever witnessed. There are many platforms in the cyber world that make virtual communication possible. The brighter side is that anyone can express an opinion on any matter without having to bother about anyone’s dignity or respect. And ironically, this is the flipside as well- a person’s online footprints are traceable and may play significant roles in his real-world life too. Let’s find out how your online behavior can both be beneficial or harmful and how to put a check on this.

It is an irrefutable fact that we exchange a lot of information through our emails, social media accounts, blogs or cellphones every day. This information doesn’t get lost all by itself. There are observers who keep a track of “how” we behave on the web. They are essentially not the law, but may include potential business partners, vendors, buyers or employers. Any slip-off, thus, may incur severe losses in the future. Akin to the old proverb, one should always “look before you type” in the world of internet. Here are a few golden rules that will help in maintaining a decent online image:

1. Pick your tools carefully: Not every tool is meant to suit every purpose. If you have been spending a lot of time on social media like Facebook or Twitter, you must be careful about what you post and how you respond. Depending on your social media behavior, online vendors target their potential consumers. Moreover, it is not uncommon to see that many employers keep tabs on their work force through these platforms.

2. Maintain a Neutral Posture: Although you are free to express you opinion on anything, it is always safer to keep an unbiased impression in your online communications. There are netizens who may misinterpret your version effecting unwanted dispute.

3. Mind your language: Besides keeping a check on what you have been communicating online, you should also notice “how” you are speaking. Whether you are using your email, blogging or posting on Facebook, you should be following an appropriate language, follow grammar rules and the right vocabulary. Internet abbreviations are alright; but in the long run- they may affect your punctuation and language skillsets. Following the right protocols during virtual communication will safeguard your real-life language.

4. Respect other users: Although it is a virtual world, each user has a real identity as well. Treating anyone wrong might boomerang at times. Refrain yourself from insulting or using derogatory remarks for anyone. Sooner or later, they will find out. If you don’t have good things to say, do not criticize either.

Thanks to the ease of online communication the world is shrinking every passing day. But it is important that you become a responsible digital citizen and behave like one. Don’t let your online behavior put your career or personal life in jeopardy. Good netiquettes will pull good results. Commit yourself to develop good online behavior for a better future!

Disclaimer: This article has been written by a member of Corporate Communications Team at Fortune Institute of International Business and doesn’t reflect the views of the Institute.