A Lesson in Netiquette

Remember the Human

Rule 1:

It’s easy to forget that in online communication, you are communicating with other people even if you don’t see them face to face. So, the thumb rules are: Imagine that you are talking to a person face-to-face. What would you say? That’s what you would post online even though you can’t see the person. The other reason you need to be doubly careful in online communication is that it is stored somewhere. So, if you are rude, it can’t be erased. It may get stored somewhere and you can’t control that. In reality, the delete button is of no use.

Scenerio 1

You and your classmate Suzy have been assigned to complete a Project together as a part of the Business Communications course that both of you are taking. Your worked hard on the project but Suzy took it easy and did not contribute much. You are upset, so you send Suzy an e-mail “Suzy, our deadline for the Project is in two days. You haven’t completed your part. I want an A in this Project. Looks like because of you, I am going to get a C. Are you going to complete your part today?” Is this is a demonstration of good netiquette practice?



No - the reason is, if you were in Suzy’s shoes, what would you feel if you received such an e-mail. You would consider it rude. Remember “Don’t do unto others what you don’t want done unto you.”

Scenerio 2

You are taking an online course on Environmental safety. There are 10 other students in the class. You notice that one student, Jane is a latecomer in the class because of the add and drop process to take courses. Jane posts a message in the discussion forum “Hi Everyone, I am late in joining this class due to the add and drop process. I am a little lost to find the reading for this week. Can anyone help me?” You respond to Jane, saying “Hi Jane, welcome to the class! You can find this week’s reading in the thread called “Readings” that is organized week by week. Don’t worry, there is no need to panic - it isn’t due until next Monday.” Is this is a demonstration of good netiquette practice?


Yes - this is because you realize that Jane is flustered that she is late and you respond to her humanly