Internet communication has become an integral part of today’s digitized world. In order to maintain healthy communication on the Internet, digital decorum has also evolved over time. Digital decorum, more commonly known as digital label or netiquette, is essentially a label on the Internet. “Digital etiquette refers to correct, polite, acceptable, social, official and professional standards, role models and accepted decorum for using the Internet or cyberspace for communication purposes.” These are the general common rules for smooth and respectful interaction between people in a medium of communication in which the form of communication is either one to one or one to many. These communication rules are not legally binding but generally accepted suggestions for interpersonal communication in digital media. Digital platforms such as discussion groups, emails, social media, forums, chats or communities, digital classrooms and online meetings must follow digital decorum for effective communication. Nowadays, digital labels have become an integral part of digital communication. Digital decorum plays an important role in effective communication and leaves an imprint of one’s thought in virtual communication.
Importance of digital decorum in the digital age
Virtual communication is now part of the daily routine. From waking up in the morning to going to bed at night, we are all surrounded by digital media, online meetings and online learning. Thus, it is necessary to understand how our behavior should be and what things we should have adopted to make virtual communication effective. Thus, digital decorum helps us educate about the dos and don’ts of internet communication. In today’s world, everyone leaves their mark online through social media. And that online fingerprint tells the person’s thoughts and behavior, which helps companies research potential employees online before they hire. It is therefore important to follow digital decorum even on social networks and other platforms to obtain a good placement. Everyone has freedom of speech and digital media has become a platform for writing our opinion online, which affects personal reputation either positively or negatively. It is therefore important to “THINK” twice before posting anything on social networks. Digital decorum teaches you how to use social media. Nonverbal cues are somewhat difficult to understand in internet communication, especially when the communication involves emails and messages. So, good digital etiquette is all about being clear about what you write in emails and messages. Digital decorum should be added to the curriculum to teach students how to maintain good virtual communication and prevent situations such as cyberbullying and damage to personal reputation.
Rules of digital decorum
Remember the human: The general rule of digital decorum is to remember the person and behave online the same way one behaves in offline communication. Most people have problems when communicating online because they often forget that they are communicating with real people, only the medium of communication has changed. It is normal to misunderstand the context of someone’s speech when you cannot see their facial expression and body language, so it is important to keep that person in mind when reading their emails, messages. , etc.
Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life: Being anonymous, or at least faceless, has a liberating effect, allowing you to say things that you wouldn’t say in person. You can type it in, download it, then sign out of social media or shut down your computer. This can help you ignore everyone’s response for a while. However, this type of behavior online can still get you in trouble, but not as quickly as if you were listening to their response in person. Copying another person’s work, for example, may be illegal. In addition, claiming that someone did something when they did not can be considered defamatory and damage their reputation. It is therefore important to follow ethics even when communicating online.
Know where you are in cyberspace: Since every online forum and domain has its own set of regulations, it’s important to know where you are writing and who your audience is. What is good for one group may appear against the mentality or customs of another. For example, if you mistakenly post your take on a particular political party and how you think about its professional advertising agenda and connect with that political party discussion group on social media, you may receive comments from offended group members.
Respects the time and bandwidth of others: In today’s world, information overload can be overwhelming. It is important to respect people’s time by communicating online in a concise and direct manner. It is also important to remember that your messages, whether sent by email or posted on the Internet, take up space in storage systems. It is not a good idea to spam mailing lists with large files or unnecessary information.
Make yourself look good online: Content is the key to online communication. Grammar and spelling also play an important and significant role. Before you post anything about You Think “Know”, make sure you actually know everything you are talking about. Keep it short and to the point as to show. It is important to keep in mind that you should not write a message in all caps because it is like yelling at the recipient.
Share expert knowledge: Nowadays, sharing and retrieving expert knowledge and information has become easy through extensive online communication. Sharing knowledge is one of the good things. If you are an expert and have some research or news to share, you can just write it down and post it.
Help keep the flame wars under control: Flaming, on the other hand, seems to be common in the cyber world, where people aim to stir up controversy by expressing strong and offensive feelings. While it can be anticipated in some forums and chat rooms, it is not welcome in others. Chat rooms are very fascinating. Swearing, creating flame fights, or making comments that you know will spark debate are all bad digital etiquette. It is better to avoid all these flaming fights.
Respect each other’s privacy: The freedom to share data with the click of a button comes at a cost. Respect for the privacy of others is an essential rule of digital etiquette. Doxxing is the practice of publicly identifying or posting private information about someone as some kind of revenge or punishment. You should also avoid spying on someone else’s computer or email for information that would otherwise be inaccessible to you. Others may be tempted to try to access our personal information if everything is in writing. So avoid not posting everything on the Internet.
Don’t abuse your power: For example, system administrators may have more influence in cyberspace than others. However, there are certain limits that should not be exceeded, such as accessing other people’s personal information. People in positions of power can use social media platforms to gain an advantage over their opponents or to overthrow others because they can and because they have a large following. It’s a good idea not to abuse this ability or say something on the internet that you might regret later.
Forgive the mistakes of others: Mistakes are inevitable in a forum regulated by the written word and individual writers. While some are costly or embarrassing than others, it is wise to forgive if possible. We all need to be careful not to provide inaccurate information, especially if it could damage someone’s reputation. If someone says something harsh about us without intending to offend them, we must try to forgive them and accept their mistake.
In today’s digital world, a person must be aware of their activities and communications on the Internet. Digital decorum refers to a set of behavioral rules related to various types of Internet communication. Online communication is the same as offline communication if we understand the basics of digital decorum. New technologies and innovations are born day by day on the Internet, all we need is to learn how to use them for our well-being. Digital decorum is the perfect set of rules for maintaining peace and healthy communication on the Internet.
- The Growing Need for Netiquette in the Digital Age, Dr Sonia Agarwal & Dr Manu Agarwal, IOSR Journal of Engineering (IOSRJEN) www.iosrjen.org ISSN (e): 2250-3021, ISSN (p): 2278-8719 Vol. 07, number 03 (March 2017), || V1 || PP 70-72.
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