Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Digital etiquette: mind your online manners

By Jeannette Marshall
First published "anEDITORIALpage" on Blogspot
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It occurs to me a lot more recently, how digital etiquette rules haven't been set. [will fact check "digital etiquette" from Google and insert the first three responses here]:

"Learn how the rules of conduct 
we follow in our every day  lives apply to many different types of digital communications."  Well, yes and no.  There definitely are some rules that reign over both:

1)  Chewing gum 
2)  Eating with your mouth open

Annoying on both sides of the wire.  Then there is a top response (great SEO) to land "Digiteen" third from the top.  I don't want to freak out by reading what they are telling teenagers today so I didn't.  Maybe later, maybe never.

Imagine this
you are sitting in front of your computer in an aerodynamic chair that adheres to the form of your back (ahhhhh, yes!).  Plant your feet firmly on the ground,relaxing them.  (Or, if you're like me, have a box on the floor that allows you to do so).

Your digital brain is turned on.
Your fingers on the keyboard fly or float, depending on the tempo of your mind (did you come here to look something important up or check your email, pop in and out?).  You float on if you are open minded, a little smarter than the average bear, prepared to be enlightened, on a quest to learn something.  

Practice the Golden Rule online
"Treat others as you wish to be treated".  The digital world is a much bigger world than any country while being the largest source for information times 20.  You are within control of what your identity becomes.

Identity out rules brand
In my opinion.  That is all I have.  Identity owns brand because it is the purest form of what brands want to be about.   For example, technology and HP seem to get along.   There is no Microsofting that, unlike you xerox a contract (photocopy to Xerox is to tissue paper is to Kleenex).

The mishmash of the digital world 
of humanity.  A blending of traditions that are indistinguishable from race or geography or beliefs.  In the real rule, people follow their regional leanings, cultural history, influenced by their beliefs.  

Thank you
is as current now on digital communications as it has been for generations in many different languages and applied to so many contexts.  Using "thank you" above all responses should be your adopted mantra.

Interchangeable meaning
across different dialects and regions.  Meaning pure translation into English as "thank you".  Online, try looking up and practice using in various languages.

A best practice
is something that works wonderfully in real situations as it does online.  Thank you is your first go to word.  I remember when I first came online in around 1998 and learned, spent time chatting online.  

Decide who you want to be
as in someone polite and respectful.  Act accordingly.  Learning to say thank you is critical for any age, gender, etc etc.  Incorporate some of the best manners you know works in person.

No body language or expression
evens the playing field.  If you cruise around social media you can get a grasp of those who have a great reputation.

Quality outweighs quantity
is the tune of being online.  If you're a guy and you follow every 10/10 body and seemingly X-rated looks and communications, that will likely reflect on who follows you back or stays in your sphere.

People gravitate towards people
in life as it is online.  When you start examining the definition of popular is when it starts to thin.

Digital is a popularity contest
with the ability to skyrocket an identity online.  You can always get a grasp of this from the stories covered by traditional television news:  who now include some version of "what's trending".  

Looks are not always a factor
Someone can be really smart, really witty for others to pay attention to.  The level of creativity and wisdom escalates the popularity.  If you decide it is looks that you will leverage:  are you able to be that image 24/7 and in real life?  Use that as a gauge.

Hipness is as hipness does
You can believe you're a Hipster [the cool factor on steroids in the digital social media world] but if you don't surround yourself with hipster things:  fashion, makeup or hair styles for girls, toys for guys [cars, music, entrepreneurship pursuits=money].  

Makeup or fashion don't make a girl.
Online you can probably get a sense of the gal behind the face.  Crazy selfie feeding frenzy on InstaGRAM, and probably SNAPchat (I admit I don't use it, leaning towards changing that because it is where my 4 Millennial children hang).

Your online portfolio
is not your resume or CV or what you tweak to portray who you want people to think you are.  However, if you love art and look at art, are involved in art, it is likely that is what you share and starts to attract those in the art world beyond your immediate borders.

I have a dream
on what my life looks like when I can create it step by step, learning from mistakes and bouncing back from setbacks.  If you want to be a singer, you have YouTube (i.e.  Justin Beiber was discovered in a small town Ontario, Canada; attracted the right celebrity who can help, with the sweetest smile and "ah shucks" .... now almost in ruin after tearing up that cute boy image to a temper tantrum, stupid, bad boy mistakes.  

Be careful what you wish for
If you have big numbers and it boosts your ego online, don't start bragging and saying you're the biggest, best or expert anything.  

Take your time, stay true
to that image of who you want to be, what is true to being you.  Stay away from train wrecks unless it is something from "Moments" on Twitter (who has THE best news source vibe:  what is trending is what people are responding to the most.  Inject a comment, photo or quote in those audiences.  One is enough.

Keep your appointments
is a way of being respectful and embracing respect that flows back to you accordingly.  That includes online #chats (on Twitter just enter the topic "chat" or #chat in the search engine on their site when you're logged on, of course.  Join chats that are interesting to you.  Better if it is a hobby and passion than an occupation.  If you make a commitment, however, be on time.

Don't drink and drive
applies to drunk dialing an ex or drunk clicking online.  You can scroll through online profiles or Facebook feed.  Linked In shows who is looking at you online.

Scroll don't click
If your inhibitions are removed, you sign up for more "free somethings" that could have disastrous repercussions.  Make it a personal rule that if you're tempted, minimize so you can save it and go to it next time online.  Likely you won't want it as badly second time around.

Occupation SPAM
becomes annoying and can result in a BLOCK just about any site.  They protect its loyal users from receiving messages from whomever they don't want to.  

EMAIL etiquette
is as important as anywhere online.  It is where the basket lands in your email account.  BECAUSE you asked it to.  Set a time limit of response rate:  how many days before you respond or at least reply with "thank you" if that's all you're at.   

Be diligent
with whom gets your personal email address. 
I would suggest a social media tied email (name online) for all the junk, spam likelihood.  Then another personal one that is very private and secluded from the online circus.

Don't open any attachment
Those are where the most malware find its roots.  The savvy hackers know that you are more likely to open an attachment from your "friends" than someone random.  Be sure you are familiar with the email source at the very least.

Consider habit
of the person sending you the email:  do they regularly keep in touch with email?  Or do they often send you jokes attached?  Gauge your reaction accordingly.

Age matters
only when it comes to digital savviness.   Unless you have a Millennial grandson or son who knows how to tinker with computers you should be leery of 

If it is too good to be true
online is ten times more warning, telling you try it.  You can bookmark it and wait 48 hours to see if its as important then as it appears to be now.

Dumb mistakes
are normal.  Keep track of what you do online if you don't think your memory will suffice.  A handy notebook nearby are a plus.

Advice adherence
you could be a nice, polite, well-mannered gal who turns into a femme fatale online.

Be careful what you wish for
You are creating your wishes by your behavior online.

Keep the Mom's test nearby
As yourself:  would you be comfortable having your mom, dad, grandparent sitting within visual range with the ability to see what you're doing?  If not, you should probably stop doing it.

Fight the stereotype
by not fueling the stereotype by your behavior online.  That would include being a sex-crazed teenage boy.  Not everyone is.  They could be online doing research for their school project.  

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