Respectful behaviour online: Rules for good netiquette
The anonymity of the internet is tempting for some users to express their opinion without reflection of whether they may hurt someone. Therefore, you may see comments or insults in some chat rooms or commentary sections that do not adhere to chat rules and certainly not to any netiquette standards. However, the same behavioural rules commonly accepted for everyday interactions also apply to online situations.
The term netiquette combines the terms “net” – short for internet – and “etiquette”. Netiquette therefore defines rules for proper behaviour on the internet and regulates friendly and respectful interactions in chats, forums, commentary sections and many other areas. Administrators and moderators need to make sure that everyone adheres to appropriate digital etiquette standards on their respective platform. Nevertheless, not every user automatically observes set rules – ignoring them may, for example, lead to the exclusion of this person from the respective platform.
For you and your child to be able to handle such comments and statements, it is important to always talk about your online experiences. Share positive as well as negative experiences with one another and talk about your thoughts and feelings in certain situations. What was wrong with the behaviour of a user? What wording would have been more appropriate or more polite? This is how you build trust, increase your kid’s self-confidence and encourage your child to always be friendly and polite when using the internet. Find out how you can explore the internet together safely in this article.
Have your child show you different websites and social networks and explore them from his or her perspective. This way you may even learn about new functions you did not know before and see which parts your child has understood and whether there are any questions. In the world of social media, messengers, and chats, you should always take the first steps together. Explain to your child that behind every username is a real person. This is easily forgotten when there are funny names and profile pictures. Talk about the fact that the same rules apply to online communication as they do in real life discussions and why one should observe this netiquette.