The Importance of Online Etiquette

Kaitlyn Nagy
2 min readMay 8, 2021

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One challenge many web users face is following proper netiquette. By having poor behavior on the internet such as using inappropriate language and practices can constrain your digital brand. A digital brand is important as it is what others see of you on the internet. Therefore, by maintaining netiquette will allow users to further increase their online presence in a positive light, as well as create a online environment that everyone should feel safe using.

What is netiquette and why is it important?

Netiquette refers to the set of rules and guidelines of etiquette that is applied when communicating to others on the internet (“netiquette.”).

Netiquette is important as we are regularly engaging and communicating with people online, mostly consisting of strangers through the abundance of social media platforms (St.C, 2020). Therefore, following netiquette is important as we must remain respectful and polite and is an idea that every internet user should adopt.

Here are three steps to consider when maintaining online etiquette.

1. Be respectful and courteous (do not say what you would not in person)

While it may be easier to say hurtful things online behind a computer rather than face to face with someone. It is important to remember that people are still affected by your actions even digitally. What you say online is still an extension of you (Mayne, 2020)

2. Protect Personal Information

What you post on the internet is out in public for everyone, avoid adding any personal information such as your address and phone number. You do not want your information to get in the hands of identity thieves and hackers. (Mayne, 2020)

3. Grammar matters! Know etiquette for different platforms.

While informal language can be appropriate for certain platforms such as using internet slang on Instagram such as “lol”. It is important on other platforms such as LinkedIn to remain formal and professional as it is a business environment. Written communication varies from platform to platform. (“7 rules for Online…”)

By following these three steps will allow you to get a start in maintaining your online etiquette.

Our online identity is an extension our ourselves, etiquette matters. Image source (Turk ,2020)

Works Cited

“7 Rules for Online Etiquette.” Achieve Virtual Education Academy, 20 Oct. 2020, achievevirtual.org/7-rules-for-online-etiquette/.

Mayne, Debby. “Email, Social Media, and Texting Guidelines.” The Spruce, 2020, www.thespruce.com/proper-internet-etiquette-1216946.

“Netiquette.” Dictionary.com, Dictionary.com, www.dictionary.com/browse/netiquette.

St.C., Resource created by Lisa. “Netiquette.” Instruct­Ional Resources, 16 Nov. 2020,blog.citl.mun.ca/instructionalresources/netiquette/#:~:text=Netiquette%20(Online%20Etiquette)%20is%20a,when%20working%20and%20collaborating%20online.

Turk, Victoria. “You Live Your Life Online. Don’t Forget Your Manners.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 9 Dec. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/12/09/smarter-living/digital-etiquette-manners-online.html.

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