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The Beauty of Netiquette: Why Digital Etiquette Matters!

No matter the platform you are using to communicate online, ensure to approach it with the relevant digital etiquettes. Therein lies the beauty!

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One of my favorite quotes from my 2018 collection of quotes, INSIGHTS, says, treat everyone you meet as a king, and you do not do this for mere favors unless you do not realize that you are one.

Being decent to other people is not earned but given. Decency does not reveal the other person, it tells of who you are as an individual. Decency should not be reward-based. It should be given nonetheless and notwithstanding.

If you have to apologize after realizing who an individual is, or when the value proposition changes, and or you only show kindness when the person is not a stranger, then something is fundamentally wrong.

Everyone deserves the right to be human and to be treated as such. Be kind with your approach and attitude when interacting and communicating with people- their gender, age, status, and or race should not matter.

We live in an era that is a confluence of the physical and the digital world. A large percentage of our human interaction involves the use of one social media platform or the other.

According to We Are Social Digital report 2020worldwide, there are 3.80 billion social media users as of January 2020, with this number increasing by more than 9 percent (321 million new users) since publication time last year.

Netiquette- the idea for acceptable behavior within the digital space is a concept everyone interacting within the digital space must exhibit. Like we do in the physical world with etiquettes.

Netiquette, a combination of the words Net and Etiquette, is a set rule of etiquette that applies to online communication, according to the Digital Wellness Institute. Netiquette, also referred to as Digital Etiquette, is also expressed as the standards of conduct expected by other digital technology users. Digital Wellness Institute

We live in a world where lies spread faster than truth, and people are often more polite and kind to people they know and agree with than they are with strangers and or people that do not agree with them. Digital Etiquette matters because it tells us that we are all humans and should respect one another.

Here are some steps that showcase the beauty of Netiquette.

  • Introductions: Introductions are important when initiating any conversations with someone new. Make sure at the first instance, your identity or what you represent is clear, especially when a stranger is involved.
  • Be careful of the Justification Trap: Just because someone was rude to you does not mean you have to be rude to them. If everyone in your circle keeps telling you that you are 100% correct, you will hardly grow beyond your current level; therefore, constructive criticism should be welcomed- Do not be rude to people on the basis that their opinion is different from yours.
  • Be Decent: While I cannot tell you how to respond to your interactions or communicate when the harshness of social media sets-in, I can at least advise us to be decent nonetheless. 
  • Respond instead of Reacting: Most times, in the heat of the communication, we tend to do things that we might later regret. Take a minute to breathe, then consider your response.
  • Stay Truthful: People often hid behind keypads to bully others. This is wrong. If you can’t do it in the physical world, do not do it in the digital world, and remember, “Right is right no matter how many people think it is wrong, and wrong is wrong no matter how many people think it is right“- William Penn. Do not be the reason someone’s day becomes unexciting.
  • Consider This- Do I have to share this before sharing it: A lot of people’s inboxes and DMs are flooded with spam messages. Messages that were forwarded to them and asked to be forwarded to others even though we did not read beyond the captions (and most captions are Click baits).

No matter the platform you are using to communicate online, ensure to approach it with the relevant digital etiquettes. Therein lies the beauty!

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