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— by Lab Coat Agents

Online Etiquette – Seven Tips for making your online community experience more productive and enjoyable.

1. Remember you are interacting with people

Because you only see text, images, and videos on a monitor, it is easy to forget or ignore that person sits on the other side of the communication. This can tempt people to excess verbal boldness or emotional explosions, leaving readers angry and hurt. Over the Internet, you should consider yourself as having a face-to-face conversation with someone in a crowded room. Cursing and raw abuse are not appropriate. Keep debate civil, and keep it a debate, not a slanderous brawl. Always remember behind every post is a human being.

2. Differentiate between public and private messages

Online communities (such as groups on Facebook) are public spaces. Personal messages, such as criticism of a person’s writing style or spelling should be sent to that person only. To broadcast such messages in the group can embarrass and anger.

3. Be Descriptive

Your post will have a greater impact and more people will read it. Simplicity of expression usually is best.

4. Be prudent with speculation

On the internet, rumors can grow and spread like wildfire. Avoid using words like “all” or “everyone.” The term “most” is also often an exaggeration.

5. Be cautious with humor and sarcasm

Typed language is naturally colder than spoken language because it is stripped of voice inflections and body language. Most of the nuance is missing from the engagement. Quite easily, humor can be taken as an insult, especially if subtle. Don’t be afraid to use emoticons and emoji to help you get your point across.

6. Remember, everyone has an opinion

You can waste a lot of time arguing online. Always remember these two, time-saving slogans:

Many on the Internet are “not always right, but never in doubt.” You will be wasting time trying to convince some of your position or point.

“Who is the greater fool, the village idiot, or the person who argues with the village idiot?”

7. Have fun

And always keep your reason for being there at the forefront of your mind.

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