The internet has connected us at an amazing level. It has put us on the road of centralising our society and has become a primitive hive mind of sorts. It allows doctors to consult patients anywhere in the world, it allows public and private organizations and businesses to function more efficiently than ever before, and has given us the ability to instantly find and learn anything we want. It has also changed our society. Sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the better.
The rise of cyber bullying
With great power comes great responsibility. Well, it turns out that not everybody on the internet is as responsible or as mature as they should be. The fact that the internet can provide some sort on anonymity has helped create “cyberbullies” or “trolls”. These are people who get their kicks from causing chaos on the internet. Generally speaking, these individuals are not a new “addition” to the human society – there have always been bullies, in schools, high school, etc. -, they just transitioned to a virtual environment. Cyberbullies are spread all over the internet. They’re on social media websites, forums, even on online public encyclopedias. No place is truly safe from them. On the bright side, they do little more other verbally attack people. Considering their behavior, cyberbullies are constantly damaging people’s perception of the internet. They are also promoting bad e-manners.
E-manners, the short version
The concept of e-manners refers to internet manners; These are general linguistic accords developed through use, over the years. When chatting with someone on the internet, try to remember to:
- Use capital letters sparingly. Writing a word or a sentence entirely in capital letters is usually perceived as shouting. This has come in response to the necessity of easily conveying emotion in text;
- Know your emoticons. Emoticons are the symbols which you have probably already seen all over the internet. They are used to express emotion.
- Pay attention to your register. You should always pay attention the how you talk with somebody. It’s never a good idea to send your boss a casual message about not coming to work the next day. Also, try to avoid sending a formal invitation to one of your friends when you want to go out for a beer.
- Do not spam! Posting the same message repeatedly is usually considered spam. There are few reasons for which you should post the same message more than once and offenders of this rule tend to be ignored;
- Never share your personal information unless you know what you’re doing. While this is more of a rule regarding internet security more than anything else, always remember to never disclose personal information to strangers. First of all, most people will find it inappropriate, and second of all, some of those strangers might use the information to harm you.
- A conversation on the internet should be just like one in real life. Never share personal details unless talking to a friend and always be cautious when speaking with strangers.