Digital Etiquette

Be in the Know

Think you know etiquette? See what it means online:

When completing an online class, sending an email, or joining a forum, it's important to know how your actions will be interpreted. Just like the reputation you maintain offline, your behavior online effects what people think of you. Online actions go even further because your written word is a permanent reflection of you.

Important things to do

  • Read your message in it's entirety before you send it. This may be especially true if you write the message while you are tired or angry. Be sure it conveys what you intended.
  • Use respectful language. Keep in mind that no one can see your facial expression and your written word may be interpreted in an offensive manner even if you were joking.
  • Be respectful of the privacy of others.
  • Double check that your message will only be received by the intended recipient. Be careful not to hit "reply all" when you intended to hit "reply."
  • Combine any criticism with support; point out a positive with the negative. Don't put someone "on blast," in other words, if you would like to point out an error in someone's post, do it in a private message.

Important things to avoid

  • Use of texting language in a professional setting such as a class or online forum.
  • Using punctuation that misconstrues your message.
  • Using all capital letters as it is generally understood to be shouting.
  • Saying anything that you wouldn't say in person.
  • Insulting another person or their opinions/posts.
  • Taking anything that doesn't belong to you, such as passwords, information, subscriptions, credit card numbers, etc.
online etiquette