Response to “The Core Rules of Netiquette”

This is a review of two of the points that I could relate to the most, mentioned in “The Core Rules of Netiquette” from the book, Netiquette, by Virgina Shea.
"Netiquette" by Virginia Shea

"Netiquette" by Virginia Shea

Rule 4: Respect other people’s time and bandwidth

In my boyfriend Stephen’s old house, he shared a basement suite with two other roommates. The place had a downloading limit of 30 gigabytes split 3 ways, which isn’t very much at all. It didn’t help that one of his roommates, Robbie, loved to download. He’d spend the entire day locked away in his room downloading who knows what. We couldn’t even get Google to load! Lucky for Stephen, a complete computer geek, he was able to access Robbie’s computer and control the amount of bandwidth going to his computer. In the end, Robbie was kicked out of the house for going over his allotted download space.

Don’t Hog the Bandwidth

Respect. That’s one of the first life lessons we learn from our parents and teachers. We see it written all over the schools, and it’s the top rule we hear whenever we are given a list of rules. Another prime life lesson: sharing. We’re all familiar with these principles. Remember that Golden Rule: treat others the way you want to be treated? The same goes for the rules of the Internet. Even with the advent of super-fast high-speed Internet these days, it’s important to remember that you’re not the only one in cyberspace. There’s a limit to how much data can be transferred at a given time throughout the network. When you live or work with other people under the same roof, using the same server, you all share the bandwidth. So if one person takes it all, everyone else will suffer.

Rule 5: Make Yourself Look Good Online

I have a few friends who write emails or text message in a way that’s not anything like how they would talk. This girl I used to work with, was a very good case of this. She’s a quiet, shy, soft-spoken little girl, who would never raise her voice above a whisper. But in her emails and messages, you would mistake her for a completely different person. She uses words like, “ballin’” and “homies” – things that I have never heard her say before. Most of her words contain at least one number and are no more than 5 characters long. It’s astounding to read this, and then actually hear her talk.

Different Language Online

I find that many people who communicate on the web, through chat rooms and messaging services, for example, use shorthand writing. You know the kind:

•    ROFL
•    TTYL
•    BRB
•    IMO
•    GR8

It’s become a completely different language. Sometimes I find myself asking, “What does that stand for?” It’s embarrassing. Have our lives become so busy that we don’t have time to properly type full words anymore? We’re not getting charged per character. I guess this is part of the evolution of writing. We don’t write or speak in Old English nowadays, so maybe 10 years from now, we’ll all have this “net lingo” down, and we’ll all be talking and writing like that.

Behind the Screen

Online writing is deceiving because we can’t actually see the person and hear the tone of their voice. Misinterpretations are bountiful in web writing because sarcasm is almost impossible to detect. Also, you are being judged solely by how you write. This may be a good thing. You can talk to millions of people from around the world without even having to brush your hair, because how could they possibly know? No need to make yourself physically presentable.

This can also give way to dangerous situations, such as people lying about who they are and what they really look like. I’ve had friends go on my computer and fiddle around with Windows Messenger and Facebook statuses, pretending to be me. It was harmless and all in good fun, though, but I’m sure if it ever got into the hands of a stranger (or enemy!) then I’d wouldn’t be as forgiving.

So when writing on the web, be yourself! Write like how you talk In normal, everyday life, and be aware of the other person you’re communicating with. Go ahead and make yourself look good, but don’t lie about who you are.

Here are some other books on Netiquette you might find useful too!


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