Time to learn online manners

Satheesh C B | Thursday, January 03, 2008 | 0 comments

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HAVE YOU met a technologically challenged person? People who are scared to visit chat rooms and message boards. It is  often run into such people socially and at the work place. The problem are stereotypical: a) I know there are science chat rooms. How do I fit in? b) No one answers my queries at internet forums c) Every time I meet a girl/boy online and ask for a/s/l, she/he ignores me!..so on.

These issues are more connected with internet etiquettes than anything else. It’s like going to fancy dress party wearing formal clothes and wondering why no one seems interested. Well, one needs to get the dress code right first. Similarly the online world, over the years has developed a code of general behavior that is guided by principles of democracy, peace and equality in participation.

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So here’s your crash course in internet etiquettes.

Online forums

  • Online forums are the best way to gain knowledge and communicate with people without choosing the highly personal e-mail and chat route.
  • One should read all the rules and guidelines established by the forum community. So read the FAQs carefully.
  • Before creating a new topic thread, one is advised to search to see If a similar topic already exists.
  • Follow standard grammar and spelling rules and avoid slang.
  • Avoid appearing Self absorbed. Respond to topics started by others more often than starting your own.
  • Avoid the use of all CAPS. It’s considered “shouting”
  • Do not resurrect a very old topic if nothing significant will be added.
  • Refrain from lashing back at a poorly behaving member. Instead, notify the message board’s moderator.
  • The rule of thumb in any of these discussion media is to “lurk before one leaps” – to get a feel for the local conventions before engaging in conversation and inadvertently embarrassing oneself.

Age sex location

At the turn of the century when the internet was still in its infancy, it was common for people in chat rooms to ask strangers their a/s/l – age/sex/location. It is no longer cool.

Currently, this acronym is often frowned upon in chat rooms and indicates clear inexperience. Asking for such information can be considered mildly offensive on specialist sites, or where such is otherwise determinable in profiles. Many users satirise the term by making parody answers.

So be creative and polite. Remember, like you there are many who have come to chat room for first time. Wait, watch and enjoy.


Yes, it’s true. Most people are not aware of basic e-mail manners. Haven’t you received that dinner invitation on your office mail? And don’t you get annoyed when co-workers e-mail you in sms lingo? What about clients who never get back and vice versa?

  • A business e-mail account should not be used for personal correspondence. They may be monitored.
  • If the original message was sent to multiple recipients, one should only reply to users for whom your message is pertinent.
  • When sending a number of people use BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) rather than CC. This protects each recipient’s privacy from other recipients.
  • Always ask first before sending large attachments, unless the recipient requests attachments (for example, HR personnel typically want a resume attached when you are applying for a position.
  • Subject lines are critical to proper e-mail etiquette. When one replies to emails, they should always make certain the subject line of the email is still relevant to the reply.

If you have not received a reply to business e-mail, it is custom ary to send an enquiry message within a week if a reply is expected. This ensures you have a backup in case the original message was overlooked, intercepted or inadvertently deleted. Conversely, if you cannot answer an e-mail immediately, it is polite to reply with a short e-mail confirming the e-mail was received, following with a more complete reply when possible

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