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Q: What are some tips for good netiquette?

A: Netiquette is short for "net etiquette." It is a set of guidelines that define customary or polite behavior on the Internet.

If you communicate online, which you probably do if you're visiting ChatSlang.com, it is important that you use good netiquette. The following tips will help you maintain proper netiquette in different areas of the Internet:

E-mail

  • Avoid overusing emoticons and chat acronyms in work-related emails.
  • Use formal language when sending professional e-mail messages.
  • Use correct grammar and punctuation regardless of who you communicate with.
  • Don't forward messages to several people at once.
  • If you do forward a message, remove all the previous e-mail addresses in the message.
  • Use the Bcc (Blind Carbon Copy) field when sending a message to several recipients.
  • Reply to others as soon as possible.
  • Avoid falling too far behind with your e-mail.

Online Chat

  • Only use chat acronyms and abbreviations with friends and family.
  • Use emoticons when appropriate.
  • Avoid coarse or dirty language.
  • Avoid chat rooms that are outside your age range.
  • Don't share your name or location when communicating with strangers.
  • Keep your "online status" updated in instant messaging programs.
  • Say goodbye before leaving a chat session.

Web Forums

  • Avoid using uncommon acronyms and abbreviations.
  • Use emoticons when they are helpful, but don't overuse them.
  • Stay on the topic of the thread when posting replies.
  • When posting a new topic, choose a descriptive subject for the thread.
  • Avoid using offensive language and getting into arguments.
  • Give others the benefit of the doubt if there is a misunderstanding.
  • Don't make fun of new users (newbies).
  • If other users have helped you, give back by helping others.

Online Gaming

  • Familiarize yourself with each game before playing online.
  • Join games quickly so you don't hold up others waiting to start.
  • Use gaming acronyms when communicating during gameplay.
  • Use only common emoticons when sending in-game messages.
  • Don't use crude or offensive language.
  • Don't harass your opponents or mock them.
  • Play fair and be a good sport, whether you win or lose.

Summary

The netiquette tips above can be summarized in one word: respect. If you show respect to others, they will most likely show respect to you. Therefore, if you want to have productive conversations online, be respectful of other users.

If you have any questions related to online netiquette or have some good tips to share, please contact ChatSlang.com.

Updated: October 12, 2011