A Few Tips on Internet Etiquette

Internet Etiquette You Can't Live Without

I visit chat rooms and Internet forums frequently. I always like to assume that people understand the "rules of the road" when it comes to these areas of the Web, and it's always surprising that so many people don't. Then I realize, the Internet is like a foreign land. How are people supposed to know the culture and what's acceptable if no one teaches them? With that in mind, here are some Internet etiquette rules to live by...

Know the Trolls

First and foremost, if you post or chat on the Web, be prepared for the trolls. These are mean "little" people who prowl the forums and chat rooms (and even blog comment sections) with the sole purpose of stirring up a ruckus. They attack at random, with no rhyme or reason. Your best bet? Ignore the trolls. If you don't feed them, they'll go away.

Don't Use Caps

DO NOT TYPE LIKE THIS. Why? Because using all caps is considered yelling, and it's rude. People will "flame" you (will touch on that later) for doing this. Remember, you're often judged by what, and how, you write online. Try to do it properly.

Stay Away From the Fire

Now let's talk about flaming. If you attack someone verbally (or they attack you), it's called flaming. Flaming is wrong! It will get you a bad reputation and get you banned from many online forums and chat rooms. It's easy to get caught up in a "flame" thread where people are tearing one another apart. Emotions run hot. Try to avoid it.

A Final Word

A good rule of thumb is try to carry yourself online just as you would in person. Some people feel as though they can "hide" behind their computer screen and treat online individuals any way they want. This isn't a good way to carry yourself. Treat others with respect online and off and you'll be a better person for it.

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