A means of connecting a computer to any other computer anywhere in the
world via dedicated routers and servers. When two computers are connected over the Internet, they can send and receive all kinds of information such as text, graphics, voice, video, and computer programs.
No one owns Internet, although several organizations the world over collaborate in its functioning and development. The high-speed, fiber-optic cables (called backbones) through which the bulk of the Internet data travels are owned by telephone companies in their respective countries.
The Internet grew out of
the Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Wide Area Network (then called ARPANET) established by the US Department Of Defense in 1960s for collaboration in military research among business and government laboratories. Later universities and other US institutions connected to it. This resulted in ARPANET growing beyond everyone’s expectations and acquiring the name ‘Internet.’
The development of hypertext based technology (called World Wide web, WWW, or just the Web) provided means of displaying text, graphics, and animations, and easy search and navigation tools that triggered Internet’s explosive worldwide growth.
a network of friends, colleagues, and other personal contacts:
Strong social networks can encourage healthy behaviors.
- an online community of people with a common interest who use a website or other technologies to communicate with each other and share information, resources, etc.:
A business-oriented social network.
- a website or online service that facilitates this communication.
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Contemporary definitions for social-network
a website where one connects with those sharing personal or professional interests, place of origin, education at a particular school, etc.
Dictionary.com’s 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
The rules of etiquette that apply when communicating over computer networks, especially the Internet.
Origin of netiquette
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Online Etiquette Guide
Online Etiquette (Netiquette)
Good Practices for communicating and participating online
Welcome to the world of online, Web-based courses. If you’re like many people, this is your first experience with an online course. You may have taken some courses before, and you may also have had experience with some form of electronic communication, but a Web-based course is a new area of social interaction, and as such it has its own rules for interacting with others. This guide is intended to be an overview of appropriate etiquette for interaction in this new environment.
A key distinguishing feature of an online course is that communication occurs solely via the written word. Because of this the body language voice tone and instantaneous listener feedback of the traditional classroom are all absent. These facts need to be taken into consideration both when contributing messages to a discussion and when reading them. Keep in mind the following points:
- Respect others and their opinions.In online learning students from various backgrounds come together to learn. It is important to respect their feelings and opinions though they may differ from your own.
- Tone Down Your Language. Given the absence of face-to-face clues, written text can easily be misinterpreted. Avoid the use of strong or offensive language and the excessive use of exclamation points. If you feel particularly strongly about a point, it may be best to write it first as a draft and then to review it, before posting it, in order to remove any strong language.
- Pick the right tone.Since we depend on the written word in online learning, it is especially important to choose the right words to get your meaning across. For example, sarcasm is harder to detect when you read the words rather than hearing them.
- Keep a Straight Face.In general, avoid humor and sarcasm. These frequently depend either on facial or tone of voice cues absent in text communication or on familiarity with the reader.
- Consider others’ privacy.Ask for permission if you want to forward someone’s email messages to third parties. Keep in mind that all private email mail is considered copyrighted by the original author.
- Avoid inappropriate material.
- Be forgiving.If someone states something that you find offensive, mention this directly to the instructor. Remember that the person contributing to the discussion might be new to this form of communication. What you find offensive may quite possibly have been unintended and can best be cleared up by the instructor.
- Think before you hit the send button.Think carefully about the content of your message before contributing it. Once sent to the group there is no taking it back. Grammar and spelling errors reflect on you and your audience might not be able to decode misspelled words or poorly constructed sentences.
- Test for Clarity.Messages may often appear perfectly clear to you as you compose them, but turn out to be perfectly obtuse to your reader. One way to test for clarity is to read your message aloud to see if it flows smoothly. If you can read it to another person before posting it, even better.
- Brevity is best.Be as concise as possible when contributing to a discussion. Your points might me missed if hidden in a flood of text.
- Stick to the point.Contributions to a discussion should stick to the subject. Don’t waste others’ time by going off on irrelevant tangents.
- Frivolous email.Don’t forward jokes, “chain letters” or unimportant email to other students without their permission. Not only does it fill up their mailboxes but may offend people who do not share the same sense of humor or who are tired of these types of email.
- Read First, Write Later. Don’t add your comments to a discussion before reading the comments of other students unless the assignment specifically asks you to. Doing so is tantamount to ignoring your fellow students and is rude. Comments related to the content of previous messages should be posted under them to keep related topics organized, and you should specify the person and the particular point you are following up on.
- Although electronic communication is still young, many conventions have already been established. DO NOT TYPE IN ALL CAPITALS. This is regarded as shouting and is out of place in a classroom. Acronyms and emoticons (arrangements of symbols to express emotions) are popular, but excessive use of them can make your message difficult to read. Some common ones include:
Acronyms Emoticons FYI = for your information 🙂 = smiley face: happiness, pleasure B/C = because 😦 = frowning face: displeasure W/ = with 😉 = wink BTW = by the way :-0 = shock, surprise F2F = face to face = skepticism, unease, apologetic FAQ = frequently asked questions.
We live in a world where the internet and social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, BBM, etc. reign supreme. Most people don’t seem to think that online etiquette (”netiquette”) is of much significance but one thing is for sure – good manners, whether online or offline, have never gone out of fashion. What many people seem to forget, when dealing with social networking, even though it’s technically a remote and virtual world out there, is the bottom line that it involves real people – real people who live in the real world. The moment that people are involved – one has to realize one very simple premise. People have feelings and these feelings always need to be taken into consideration. The majority of people will pretend not to admit it but the undeniable fact is that most people are sensitive and ‘softies’ at heart. Strong social networking ties enhance healthy behaviours; enrich friendships and build strong interpersonal relationships.
Let us take the example of Facebook:
- a) You receive a friend request on Facebook: 3 options are open to everyone – confirm, ignore/delete or block the person.
I learned this rule through trial and error. I think I’ve become a better person as I’ve aged – frankly, experience and maturity count for a lot! Let’s see how I can help you here.
You’ve received a friend request and for whatever reason you don’t want to confirm the request. In my opinion, the best option, is to leave the request unanswered – believe me, it’s much more polite than an outright deletion or blocking of the person online. An unanswered request gives out a variety of messages and not all are negative! It can mean:
– I am yet to view the friend request;
– I have so many online friend requests that I need at least an hour to go through all of them and I just haven’t made that my priority;
– I don’t know who you are. Please try and understand – it’s an unsafe world out there and I am just protecting myself from unnecessary hassles;
– I’d rather not share my personal information, preferences and photos with someone I don’t know or who barely know;
– I am unable to accept the friend request due to certain formalities and unspoken rules, e.g. the reaction of a boss to a subordinate; doctor-patient relationships, etc.
– I’ve seen your friend request but I am too busy to take the time to study your profile, profile picture, etc.
- b) You choose to ignore/delete/block someone’s friend request/contact details, etc:
The reasons are numerous but all I can say is that do it discreetly – don’t go out of your way to tell the other person of the said deletion. It is extremely bad taste to do so – it gives the other person the distinct impression that you are rude, crass, callous, insensitive and uncaring. Always respect other people’s feelings.
You might not realize it, but an online rejection hurts as much as a face-to-face interaction. I would strongly advise you to use it very sparingly.
The reason is simple, yet profound: all people have a sense of self-respect and self-worth. It is noteworthy to make the opposite party feel valued, in whatever interaction it might be – whether it is face-to-face, online or offline interactions.
LET’S WORK TOGETHER, AS ONE, TO BUILD A BETTER WORLD. LET US TRY TO BECOME BETTER PEOPLE SO THAT WE CAN ALL LOOK FORWARD TO A BETTER TOMORROW!