net· i· quette noun
- The accepted manner of communicating on the Internet.
Etiquette is what governs polite social interactions in the physical domain. Netiquette—an emerging and still evolving concept— governs polite social interactions in the digital domain as we increasingly rely on digital technologies to interact with one another. Below are a few common rules of netiquette.
Netiquette for Face-to-Face Virtual Meetings
- Test your tech before you log on. Testing will afford the opportunity to find a work around or resolve an issue. If you are hosting a virtual meeting, make sure you have a backup plan.
- Turn your camera on; always look directly into the camera when speaking. Visual cues are important in physical and virtual interactions. When speaking, always look directly into the camera.
- Mute yourself when not speaking. Ambient noise is exceedingly distracting for everyone in the virtual meeting, so remember to mute yourself when not speaking.
- Choose your work environment carefully. Remember, you are on camera. Avoid messy or distracting backgrounds and always ensure that there are no bright light sources—such as windows—directly behind you.
- Dress appropriately. Again, you are on camera; make sure to dress accordingly.
- Use non-verbal communication tools. Use tools such as chat and raise-your-hand functions as they are less intrusive than simply unmuting yourself and interrupting.
- Do not record without express permission. Recording a meeting or virtual interaction without express permission to do so is a blatant violation of privacy.
- Do not post recordings without express permission. If you plan on posting a recording on Youtube or other forms of social media, ask permission first.
- Maintain civility in the chat. You should also not take for granted that “private” chats are always private; there is always a way for others to see them.
Netiquette for Social Media
- Maintain civility. Always follow this simple rule: if you would not say it out loud or to someone’s face, do not post it on social media.
- Write clearly and with a purpose. Weigh your choice of words and phrases carefully. Make sure you are not representing yourself in a negative way on social media.
- Proofread or listen before you post; think critically about what you’re saying. Perform spell check and make sure there are no grammatical errors. Listen to recordings before posting.
- When writing, avoid ALL CAPS. Using all capital letters implies a shout or aggressive tone—in order to maintain civility, all caps are best avoided.