Good Internet Manners

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Being kind, courteous, and inviting comes down to one thing: considering other's well-being. Our society is in need of people who act nobly and encourage others to adopt courteous actions and language.

Courteous users of the World Wide Web will always be careful to observe the following rules:

  • Your online self should reflect your self.
  • Your online age should reflect your age.
  • Never embellish your accomplishments.
  • Don't use demeaning usernames.
  • Don't utilize platforms that advocate or passively disregard offensive behavior.
  • Don't be afraid to share your bad days too.
  • Don't plagiarize; Give credit where credit is due.
  • Behave online in a manner no different from the way you behave offline.
  • Be honest, truthful, and pure.
  • Watch your tone.
  • Never forget the internet doesn't forget.
  • Do not use bad language.
  • Ask yourself, Do my followers need this information now? Could it be found easily elsewhere?
  • Foster online relationships that result in off-line relationships.
  • Remember listening is often better than speaking.
  • Contribute with purpose, not noise.
  • Support your peers.
  • Consider the worth of your comment.
  • Consider the response of your criticism.
  • Admit your lack of context, and state your facts.
  • Invite other opinions.
  • Don't hide behind anonymity.
  • Consider the reputation of the author and yourself.
  • Watch your tone; especially when writing your comments.
  • Don't assume that you can always grasp the tone of another person.
  • Remember sarcasm doesn't always translate.
  • Consider the quality of the content you’re about to share.
  • Give context when context would be helpful.
  • Invite feedback.
  • Share where applicable; assist in keeping the web orderly and in place.
  • Never forget what you share will be seen and read by many different people in many different circumstances; avoid sharing content that celebrates materialism, arrogance, and indulgence.
  • Some memories you experience with your family and friends are sacred; these memories should not be shared online.
  • Don’t base your self-worth on your followers.
  • Follow people who treat others with dignity and respect. They’re worth following.
  • Do not follow bad company.
  • Follow people who motivate you to be a better person.
  • Follow people in the industry you serve that make you better at your work or craft.
  • If you’re a parent, follow people you’d want your children to follow.
  • Follow people who respectfully challenge your biases.
  • Don’t ask complicated questions with no intention to engage the answer. When an online debate ends, identify critical takeaways that stem from the dialogue.
  • Don’t, whenever possible.
  • Cite your sources, always.
  • Only engage in debate in matters in which you’re an expert (experts usually have 10,000 hours or more in a given field).
  • Invite more personal correspondence when possible. Email is a useful place to start.
  • Ask more questions. Pursue dialogue, not debate.
  • As often as you can, look up to the real world in front of you, not down into a digital world.
  • In social settings, default to airplane mode (as much as it’s practical).
  • No devices at the dinner table.
  • You can be in one place at one time. Be where you are with who you’re with first.
  • Never be rude to anybody, whether older or younger, richer or poorer, than yourself.
  • Always strive to understand and share the feelings of another.
  • Don’t use political ties to pigeonhole complex problems.
Whether face-to-face or screen-to-screen endorse the principle of the Golden Rule, “Always do to others as you would wish them to do to you if you were in their place.”

Empathy wins. Especially online.