“Watch Your Tone” Online Netiquette

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Communicating via email or other online correspondence can be very convenient for the online student, however; what is often overlooked is the “tone” in which you are communicating with another individual or instructor. You are probably asking yourself, “Is this lady off her rocker or what?” “How can a voice-free form of communication have a tone?” Well, online communication not only has a “tone” but it is also very easy to communicate a negative none unintentionally.

respectRaising Your Voice

For some students that are not computer or typing savvy, it is easier to just leave the Caps Lock on for the entire duration of your email or correspondence. This is certainly one of the worst things that you can do. The person that you are communicating with will not only feel as if you are yelling at them, they will probably also become very defensive causing the conversation to lose its intended purpose. Yes folks, all caps means you are yelling.

Adhere to Standards

When you are online conversing in email correspondence or in a university chat room, keep in mind that your behavior should be the same type of behavior that you use in face to face or physical classroom conversation. Present yourself in a professional manner always.

Your reputation will follow you regardless of if it is online or in person. Always be respectful to the person or people that you are conversing with and avoid the use of profanity or any other form of abusive language that could be misconstrued as cyber bullying. Always adhere to the same standards of behavior online as you do in your real life.

Share Knowledge

Share your knowledge freely with your colleagues or peers. Perhaps you are working on a project and a classmate may be having difficulty with a section that you found to be very easy. Don’t sit back and let him struggle through, give him a hand. Remember that the next project could be something that is completely out of your realm and you may need the assistance of one of these peers.

Respect Privacy

Always respect the privacy of others online. You may know secrets or have information that could be embarrassing or humiliating to one of your peers if released. Keep it private. If it is not your information to share then you have no right sharing it with anyone.

Remember that emails, chats and other forms of online communication can be misconstrued by others. Take care in reading your correspondence prior to hitting that enter button because once it is hit you can never really take it back. Of course you can apologize but once in cyberspace…..always in cyberspace.

deannaDeanna Miller
RN MSN/Ed HCE graduated in 1995 from the University of New York, Albany and later went on to obtain her BSN and MSN with a certification in Health Care Education from the University of Phoenix, Online. Ms. Miller currently works as a Manager of Intensive Care in a University Hospital. She is also a published author and content expert for several educational publishing companies.
Degree Jungle Staff

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