10 Steps For Proper Netiquette

Jan 11, 2019

Dear Abby,

It has come to my attention that with the predominance of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as the primary means of communication in today's world, some people don't know how to behave.  Cyber bullies and trolls and even normal netizens with opposing opinions lead the users of these platforms to act atrociously at times.  What's a gal to do?


Sick Of Idiots ~ NY, NY



Dear Sick,

Facebook doesn't offer a finishing school, so I get it.  As a society we have forgotten the old adage: 'If You Have Nothing Nice To Say, Don't Say Anything At All.'  People with extremist views can connect with ease to hype each other up.  The ability to do honest research is plagued with fake news sites whose content is swallowed as the honest truth.  The soapbox set-up these sites allow us to stand on and shout our views often lead to real world consequences and every time the original poster seems surprised.  To limit collateral damage to mental health and actual careers, I have compiled a Top Ten List of Behaviors to Strive For And Avoid on the Internet.  Good luck!

  1. Adhere to the same standards you would use when communicating in real life.    
  2. Don't post angry.  Posting when under extreme emotion starts flame wars.  Use your internal pause button and really ask yourself 'would I be ok if my mom/best friend/grandparent/child read this?
  3. Use proper spelling and grammar.  In a world that is dominated by words, using them correctly boosts your online image.
  4. Be forgiving of other people's mistakes.  Sure, the same question asked over and over and over again might be frustrating, especially with search functions in Facebook groups and Google searches for the rest, but remember: not everyone has the same user savviness as you.  It takes less effort to scroll past an annoying post than it does to engage in it.
  5. Social media should not be updated more times than the amount of glasses of water you drank today.  Feed hogs are usually annoying.
  6. Don't mass message people.  Included in that are don't create groups and invite every person on your list to it just to hock a product.