The Internet is the new Wild West.
Whether you’ve explored the toxic environment of a news article’s comments section or you’re one of the nearly 50 percent of teens that experienced cyberbullying, it’s evident the web needs to be tamed.
If you post to social media frequently, you can help bring some civility to Facebook with the proper internet etiquette.
Looking for a few tips? Then read on. We’ll walk you through a few easy ways you can make the web a better place.
Keep Your Cool
As kids, most of us were taught not to lose our cool. If we’re upset, it’s best to walk away from the situation, count to 10, and then address the issue. Psychologists agree taking a quick breather will help you regain your composure.
It’s all too easy to get riled up on the internet. Whether someone you know posts something hurtful, or you get attacked by a user, be the bigger person.
Log off of social media and take a deep breath. Calm yourself down. You’ll avoid a potentially disastrous social media situation.
Don’t Knowingly Spread False Information
Practicing proper internet etiquette involves more than avoiding arguments or blocking vulgar users. Sometimes it comes down to what you post.
Before posting the latest piece of gossip or a breaking news article, ask yourself a few questions:
- Is it well-sourced?
- Is the site an authority?
- Is there a clear or subtle bias in the writing?
- Could anything in the article be misconstrued as controversial or aggressive?
That first question is particularly important. It’s so easy to make things up on the internet. Backing your argument up with facts and sources lends your position credence.
For a silly example, let’s look at daylight saving’s time. We could easily spout off facts. But people will be more likely to believe us if we include sources in our daylight saving’s time facts.
If You Can’t Say Anything Nice, Don’t Say Anything At All
As the old saying goes, sometimes silence is golden. However, it’s not easy to keep to that gold standard when someone posts something offensive.
But remember, screenshots last forever. Even if you delete a status or a tweet, it can still easily be traced back to you.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t stick up for yourself or report dangerous or offensive content. But it does mean that not every post warrants a response. It may be someone trolling, or intentionally trying to upset people.
Good internet etiquette depends on knowing when to speak and when to listen.
Final Thoughts on Internet Etiquette
Proper etiquette isn’t just something we should practice offline. We need to exercise those same philosophies in our online life as well. Next time you post to social media, take a minute to think about your manners.
Know what posts to respond to and which to leave alone. Check your facts beforehand and log off if you feel angry.
Need some positive wishes, no matter the occasion? Don’t forget to check out our extensive list of social media statuses and wishes!