“Netiquette” refers to the etiquette of online communication. The rules of netiquette were created by Virginia Shea and can be looked into in more depth on the Netiquette website. The core of netiquette includes the same principles that are used in all other realms of interpersonal communication and professional relationships. Online communications last forever and can be used in a court of law. To prevent harm and avoid later and/or unintended consequences, be sure to present yourself in a professional manner in all communications:
- Do not include other people in conversations that should be a private.
- Be respectful of others’ time by being clear and concise.
- The tone of an online communication can be easily misinterpreted, address the meaning, not the words.
- Do not send angry emails. Discipline yourself to take a cooling off period, to think clearly on the situation and your response.
- If you would not make a particular statement to a person in front of you, you should not say it online.
- Be forgiving of other people’s mistakes.
- Don’t read into other people’s messages with your own interpretations or assumptions.
- Request clarification of a message if it is ambiguous, unclear, or incomplete.
- Pick up the phone or have a face-to-face conversation when complex matters or sensitive topics are involved.