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RVL: Hello, how are you?
Guest: Hello, I’m fine… fabulous in fact.
RVL: Good, do you know what etiquette is?
Etiquette [Et-i-kit, -ket]
- conventional requirements as to social behavior; proprieties of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion.
- a prescribed or accepted code of usage in matters of ceremony, as at a court or in official or other formal observances.
- the code of ethical behavior regarding professional practice or action among the members of a profession in their dealings with each other: e.g. medical etiquette.
Okay, stay with us now… now think of the “Internet”, commonly abbreviated to… you got it, “net”.
Now, take the “N” from net and glue it to the front of etiquette, at least that’s what they did somewhere between 1980 and 1985… hey presto, bippidy boppiddy boo…!!! You have “Netiquette”…
You, ahhh, still look puzzled?
RVL: Okay, relax, we’ll try and give you the short version…
In the E-Zine The Spruce writer Debby Mayne notes;
“As use of the internet expands into every aspect of people’s lives, from emailing pals and doing social networking to scheduling job interviews and doctor appointments, many of us have become complacent, formed bad habits, and tossed proper etiquette aside. This is unfortunate and may create problems if we don’t learn a few basic rules. Internet etiquette, also known as “Netiquette,” is essential in a civilized work environment or personal relationship.
The first rule of internet etiquette is to be kind and courteous. Never flame or rant in a public forum. Show respect for the opinions of others, even if you don’t agree, and refrain from name-calling. Avoid gossiping or saying anything negative about others.”
She goes on to make a very valid point and one that we are sure everyone has heard about at some time or another, she writes;
“Being nice includes avoiding cyber bullying. Think about how you would feel if someone said whatever you just typed about you. If you find it the least bit disturbing, delete it. Cyber bullying may lead to disaster if a despondent person perceives he or she is being threatened.”
Many of you may recall Lady GaGa’s moving tribute to Jamey Rodemeyer of Buffalo, NY a few years back  Performing in Las Vegas, the singer said;
“I just wanted to take a moment because we lost a little monster this week,” she went on to say, “Jamey, I know you’re looking down on us and you’re not a victim, you’re a lesson to all of us.”
14 year old Jamey was a huge fan of the singer and sent her a message on Twitter saying “Bye mother monster, thank you for all you have done, paws up forever”, before he killed himself following both school and online bullying.
Case in point, not to make anyone feel bad but to make everyone think.
People, most people that is, wish to be seen as rational, thinking, intelligent people yet when the monitor flickers and the keyboards warm up we can get to see some of the worst examples of humanity right in the comfort of our own home. What does it matter? Right? Who cares? Right? If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen… RIGHT?
It matters. It matters to a lot of good people who have every right to use and enjoy the internet, within or outside of their own social media circles as any other person has but, unfortunately, there is a large contingent of “people” who see it as some sort of personal ‘yuk-it-up-at-the-expense-of-others’ fest.
Question, if we may, what does every person have one of, just the same as every other person, which they don’t like to be called or seen as?
Yeah, that’s right, starts with “A”, ends in “E” and spills out c**p…
We’ve got a hot tip for you, you don’t have to be one of those… it’s NOT mandatory…!
Before we go much further I should own up, before any starts talking about pots and kettles, YES, I have been an A*****E in the past, I have been a “flamer”, I have been known to go for the throat without forethought, the thing is I, like many others, have come to realise that it solves nothing, it gets you ignored, it makes you ineffectual and pretty much shunned. I still have my moments when I lose my temper, like everybody else and just like everybody else I have a choice at those times, fire at will or walk away… I like to think I am walking a whole lot more these days – I’m really trying.
So, where did “Etiquette” come from? Victorian England? Austrian Court? Nope, French/Middle French between 1740 and 1750, yep, that’s right, the folks who got Canada and built New Orleans. They obviously recognised, as did much of the civilised world then, that certain common sense social mores were needed for the whole thing to run smoothly… we, en masse, seem to have forgotten that bit of history don’t you think?
Now, before anyone cries, “I’m not calling people Lady or Lord or Sir…” that’s perfectly fine, you don’t have to, there’s no law says you do but what does dictate that you at least exercise a measure of politeness is your own self-image. Yeah, sure, you don’t give a rat’s a** what other people think of you, fine, good, more power to you – here’s a little project you can try, form your own group, let’s call it… ummmm… Axeholes Forever… you can be Grand High Poohbah, then gather up all the other Axeholes and get them together there, you can have monthly meetings, raffles, group outings, you can even call it Axehole Court and have a King/Queen Axehole, why not… just one thing, keep it to yourself would you because nobody else will be interested, just like when they’re NOT interested when you might actually have something important to say – why? Because you are an Axehole. That’s all.
Author Kim Tranter of ULearnSocialMedia.com shares her knowledge and tips in her regular feature, “Tranter Banter” in The Observer-Dispatch online a couple of her top ten tips for using the internet are;
“Don’t gossip and keep personal information personal. Don’t tell stories that you don’t know for a fact to be true. And, often, just because it’s true doesn’t mean it needs to be repeated.”
“When typing never write in all capital letters. That is shouting. People don’t like it when you shout at them in person. And they sure don’t like it when you shout at them on the net!”
Great advice from someone who is a professional in the field, so why do hundreds of thousands of people think they know better?
Now, let me ask you something, are you a wholly balanced, well adjusted, self-assured, fully competent, intelligent, 1000% rational and unflappable type of person?
Yeah, and I’m the King of Mars…!!!
Nobody likes it when they become the target of “rants”, “flames”, derogatory commentary, condescension or just plain ol’ nastiness… NOBODY, so think about it, you don’t like people getting in your face, what makes you think you have the right to get in other peoples? That’s taking a whole lot on yourself isn’t it? There are psychological precedents for that sort of thing. Yes, I know, we all lose our temper, do our rag, and spit the dummy, whatever you want to call it but… BUT… what sets good people apart from “not good” is their method of handling that situation and, here again, I’ll step back and point to the “It’s NOT mandatory to be an Axehole” sign. In fact, in general population opinion, the Axehole is the one who doesn’t walk away.
As we mentioned earlier this little reminder message, Jamey Rodemeyer didn’t need the “Axeholes”, neither did Brandy Vela in Texas in 2016.
If you, as a rational being, don’t think your “5 minutes of arguing” over some point of contention can make the difference, these guys had a “last straw” too. Think about that next time you prepare to unload on someone.
Webmasters and Group Owners, you have a responsibility to stand up and keep your forums bully free, it’s the right thing to do and you may just save a life…!
Jamey Rodemeyer (March 21, 1997 – September 18, 2011)
Brandy Vela (June 5, 1998 – November 29, 2016)
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