Netiquette (Internet Etiquette) Explained…


We take using the Internet for granted. Everything is just a click away, right at your fingertips and communicating with everyone is so easy that itโ€™s just amazing. Well, for me it is. I sit and ponder over the days when I used to pay horrendous amounts of money to be connected to the internet to the first, one and only internet provider we had in Kenya. Remember those days?! And now days we have internet even on our mobile phones โ€“ weโ€™re always connected no matter where we are and I seriously find that fascinating.

Letโ€™s start with basic email rules first. Don’t use capitals unnecessarily in email — it designates shouting, and is considered rude. YOU WOULDNโ€™T LIKE IT IF I WROTE AN ENTIRE EMAIL TO YOU LIKE THAT WOULD YOU?

Also you must remember that subtle emotions and meanings do not transmit very well over email. Satire and humour is particularly hard to transmit, and sometimes comes across as rude and contemptuous. Particularly avoid sarcasm, which rarely communicates well. Also, don’t over-react to email or postings you receive. What looks to you like an insulting or mean message may only be an absent minded and poor choice of phrasing, and not meant the way you perceived it. Iโ€™ve been on the receiving and sending ends…. I know where Iโ€™m coming from on this one.

Unlimited Emoticons

Be particularly polite when disagreeing with others, especially your boss if heโ€™s been supporting Ghana in the World Cup and they have been exited from the game. Wherever possible, acknowledge good points made, and then respectfully describe the areas where you disagree to produce the most productive conversation. Donโ€™t discuss the game unless you say things like Ghana played well and they fought hard to the end and they deserved to be in the finals. Also donโ€™t overdo it. Boss isnโ€™t boss because of being brown nosed…!

You can send a message to more than one person or newsgroup very easily, greatly multiplying the bandwidth your message will require, but with proportionately lesser relevancy. You should only copy more than one mailing list or newsgroup if the message is genuinely useful and on-topic, and do your part to reduce everybody’s email load. Not everyone wants to read your reactionary drivel.

When you get a message at work with several CC addresses, it is usually considered polite to reply to all addresses. However, there are occasions when it may be appropriate to delete some addresses, such as when you are discussing routine matters and senior personnel don’t need to be distracted.

If you mean to reply to just the sender of a message, always double-check the addresses on your reply message before sending. It is very easy to reply to an email sent by a friend to several of his friends, and then find that your email program has replied to all of the addresses in the original message, and sending your personal reply to everyone by mistake. Iโ€™ve been entertained quite a few times with messages not meant for me but have read them anyway. What a laugh.

My friend Sam is totally allergic to people who hit the Reply All button without thinking, especially on Facebook. All you get are useless replies that are irrelevant to everyone copied in the message and the notifications also go out of hand and itโ€™s a confirmed source of high blood pressure for him.

Seriously speaking I donโ€™t want to know your opinion on something that has been copied in a mail to a whole bunch of us. Unless relevant do NOT hit the Reply All option. I usually just put these message threads in the spam folder, where they rightfully belong.

Hopefully these refresher tips have helped in some way. Now excuse me while I forward this message to 1500 people on my mailing list…


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