Something happens to people when they are communicating on a virtual platform. Words and ideas that they would never say to a person standing in-front of them suddenly seem appropriate. It’s important to think of how you are presenting yourself in an online forum, whether it’s on social media or within an instant chat during a virtual class. Here are a few tips to help you keep your online manners in check when communicating with your professor and peers.
Never use ALL CAPS.
This communicates anger, offensiveness and aggression. It’s a simple no. Just don’t do it.
Use correct punctuation.
When you are texting with your friends, using LOL, NP, CU L8R is fine. But, any other time, form complete sentences, use proper capitalization and punctuation. Failing to do so sends the message that you just don’t care.
Don’t over use emojis.
😂💻💬📣 While a well-placed emoji can help you make a point, end a comment or help convey emotion, peppering your comments with emojis over and over is just plain annoying and is deemed unprofessional.
Always be respectful.
Respect is a key word to remember when you are communicating online. Use respect when you are having an online discussion whether it be a quick question to your instructor or a longer response to a discussion board. Use respect when interacting and remember to respect another users’ privacy.
Re-read before hitting send.
It’s important to take a second to re-read what you’ve written before hitting send. This will help you identify spelling and grammar mistakes and ensure the message you want to communicate comes across clearly.
Don’t post inappropriate material.
If you’d be embarrassed to show or read the post/meme/blog to your grandmother, then keep scrolling. Keeping your online presence above the bar means not posting material that could potentially make others uncomfortable, hurt or angry.
Follow the above rules and your online reputation will be an inspiration to others. You will also show your professionalism to those in the online environment with you.