Your guide to online interactions

Person on a laptop
Jesica Cuaresma
Jesica Cuaresma is a soon-to-be graduate of Ryerson’s Business Management program. With a background in the arts — specifically visual arts and musical theatre, she hopes to integrate her creativity, along with her knowledge of marketing within the business world. Her passions include travel, fashion, photography and music.

As human beings living in the digital age, the internet is endlessly shifting the ways in which we communicate with one another.

Social media is becoming more and more integrated within our daily lives — Facebook, for example, can help us feel connected with our loved ones, while simultaneously serving as a marketing tool for businesses.

Therefore, it is important to know that just as we are expected to possess everyday social etiquette, there are also expectations for etiquette in the virtual online space. Such expectations are referred to as Netiquette (Net + Etiquette).

Your Guide to Netiquette

Keep these simple rules of Netiquette in mind before publishing content online.

#1: Use the grandma rule.
If you wouldn’t say it or show it to your grandmother, then you shouldn’t post it.

#2: Don’t post anything that may be offensive to another person
Although we may seem safe hiding behind a computer screen, our posts are out there for the public to see. It is just as easy to offend someone to their face as it is over the internet.

#3: If it isn’t acceptable in real life then it surely isn’t acceptable online.
Follow the law. Stealing books from a bookstore is illegal, so why would it be legal to steal online publications from a hardworking scholar?

#4: Understand that various platforms have different uses.
Know your roles within the platforms. I probably wouldn’t post my resume on Facebook because my friends could care less about my professional credentials. (However, doing so might actually make my mother proud of me for once — or really disappointed).

#5: Respect people’s time.
We live in a generation where we don’t have enough time. Understand that it may take a couple hours for Wendy’s to respond to your customer complaints on Twitter, and know when it would be appropriate to follow up if your mentions remain unlively.

#6: Share valuable information.
If you consider yourself a professional in a certain field, share your insights and knowledge with the public. The internet is a free and open space that you could make good use of.

#7: Don’t spam.
Think about the irritation you feel when @Cakegirl1234 comments, “Follow for follow?” on several of your Instagram posts.

Now you are ready to off into the abyss that is also known as the internet. Show off those good manners!

This blog post was originally published on Jesica Cuaresma’s personal blog.


Jesica Cuaresma is a soon-to-be graduate of Ryerson’s Business Management program. With a background in the arts — specifically visual arts and musical theatre, she hopes to integrate her creativity, along with her knowledge of marketing within the business world. Her passions include travel, fashion, photography and music.

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