Netiquette 101 for new netizens


08-12-2005, 10:21 AM

Netiquette 101 for new netizens

How to be on your best behavior when you go online

Published: December 14, 2004

Surfing the Internet can be fun, useful, and social for both adults and kids. But it’s important for all new Internet citizens, also called netizens, to remember that there are other surfers out there. And, like real surfing or any other public activity, there are implied rules of behavior or etiquette to follow. Failing to grasp the netizen ropes could result in more than just missed opportunities—saying the wrong thing at the wrong time could provoke harassment or other problems.

So before a new user or child grabs the mouse to dive in to send messages, chat in chat rooms, play games, or visit Web sites, we suggest the following guidelines that can help them handle most any situation in cyberspace.

Guidelines for good netiquette

•Apply the golden rule: Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

•Remember there is a person on the other end of your message.

•Know where you are and use appropriate good behavior.

•Be forgiving of other people’s mistakes, especially newcomers.

•Always remain calm, especially if someone insults you (or you think they have).

•Avoid using ALL CAPS to emphasize—many perceive this as “yelling” or find it annoying.

•Refrain from using inappropriate or offensive language.

•Use your online name or nickname consistently and sign all messages with it (but protect your real identity by never using your full name).

•Don’t send or forward junk e-mail (commonly referred to as spam (

•Stay out of ongoing, emotional arguments or “flame wars.”

•Check your spelling, be concise, and keep messages short.

•When participating in chat rooms, avoid interrupting others and stay on topic.

•Follow the same rules of good behavior that you would in real life.

•Use emoticons to help communicate humor and sarcasm, and learn the common online acronyms (see below).

Learning online acronyms

Another idea that has evolved to streamline communication is using acronyms. Because typing takes longer than speaking, savvy netizens like to reduce common phrases to a few simple letters. If you encounter an acronym you haven’t seen yet, politely ask what it means and you’ll have a great acronym vocabulary before you know it.

Here are some examples of commonly used acronyms:

ASAP (As soon as possible)
BBL (Be back later)
BRB (Be right back)
LOL (Laughing out loud)
ROFL (Rolling on the floor laughing)
BTW (By the way)
OIC (Oh, I see)
CUL (See you later)
OTOH (On the other hand)
GMTA (Great minds think alike)
IMHO (In my humble opinion)
RUOK? (Are you OK?)
TIA (Thanks in advance)
J/K (Just kidding)
TTFN (Ta-ta for now)


08-13-2005, 11:47 PM

Core Rules:
Rule 1: Remember the Human
Do unto others as you’d have others do unto you. Imagine how you’d feel if you were in the other person’s shoes. Stand up for yourself, but try not to hurt people’s feelings.

Rule 2: Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life
Rule 3: Know where you are in cyberspace
Rule 4: Respect other people’s time and bandwidth

Rule 5: Make yourself look good online
Be clear and logical. Don’t post flame-bait.

Rule 6: Share expert knowledge
Rule 7: Help keep flame wars under control
Rule 8: Respect other people’s privacy
Rule 9: Don’t abuse your power
Rule 10: Be forgiving of other people’s mistakes

Excepts from netiquette by Virginia Shea

This is an archived page from the former Timog Forum website.