In the last ten years the Internet has changed drastically, one of the biggest examples is through the growth of social media, and the immense amount of daily users that use these various sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. However, with more and more users, which is constantly growing, there are more and more things to be posted, searched and looked at on the internet. I believe a lot of people have a false sense of security that the computer protects them, and they feel as if they have a lot of power as they sit behind a computer screen; opposed to how things use to be with more face-to-face interactions. However, this ‘power’ that people believe they have may lead to certain issues, as there are many changing things on the internet, such as policy outlines that allow for these companies to monitor and track your every step. In fact, many companies Human Resource departments are now using websites such as Facebook as a preliminary screening tool as part of their hiring process. Therefore, one should ask themselves some of the following questions before posting anything to the Internet: Am I positing what I believe in? Is this the best thing to be doing? How would others react to this? With this being said, online etiquette is huge, and many people often forget their manners and what is ‘right’ when it comes to the online world. The following four guidelines can be used to ensure that you put your best foot forward, and ensure a professional, friendly and positive image.
- Remember you are the face of your personal brand – Do not post anything you feel that does not line up to what you believe in.
- Talk to people on the Internet as you would if you were face to face – Too often people post things online, and say things that they never would in person. This is where a large number of bullying stems from, as people feel as if they are in power behind their computer screen. As a rule, never say anything to someone if you wouldn’t say it to his or her face.
- Keep it professional – There are something’s that are fun to goof around with on your free time with your friends, however, some of these things should not be shared with the entire world. If your mom wouldn’t be proud of it, it probably shouldn’t be online.
- Whatever you put on the Internet, is very difficult to get off – once something is on the Internet, consider it permanent. It is almost impossible to get anything back off of the Internet, and thus, be selective with which you post.
Hope these guidelines help you in your future endeavors on the World Wide Web. On a side note, this YouTube video shows some ways that improper online etiquette may get you in trouble Social Media Etiquette.