Netiquette exists to help people to communicate more effectively whilst online, and to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and potential conflicts. Without a sound understanding of netiquette you run the risk of displaying abusive or cyberbullying type behavior without even being aware of it. Netiquette is a new word and concept for some of us, but a basic understanding of netiquette is important for everybody that uses the internet.
Netiquette is defined in various ways depending on where you look. A simple definition of netiquette is “Showing courtesy and respect to other internet users, just as you would in real life.”
Written communication takes place without the benefit of body language, tone of voice or facial expressions, which means there can be uncertainty about what someone is really saying.
This is why most websites and social media platforms where users can communicate in this way have accepted rules of behaviour. These codes of practice have been developed to ensure people are able to communicate clearly and avoid misunderstandings (see our examples of good netiquette for more in depth information and examples of acceptable online behavior).
Each website, whether a discussion board, social media platform or forum will have their own rules about how to use their platform responsibly – so always read them before you start posting!
Check out our examples of good netiquette to make sure you are getting the most out of your time online. In the meantime, use the following golden rules for good netiquette to keep things positive online!