The importance of netiquette in the digital age
The word "Netiquette‟ is derived from a combination of two words, Net and Etiquette. So netiquette is the basic set of rules that are supposed to be followed by an individual while communicating or interacting online on various platforms.
Netiquette is very important in these times particularly because most of us are either doing work online or attending classes online. In both cases we are ought to interact with our peers, colleagues, and teachers. Many of us have not even met the person we are interacting with and thus have very little idea about the person‟s behaviour and the way he/she reacts. That is why following Netiquette is very important.
Apart from the professional part, we are also interacting with people on various social media platforms. And more often than not the people we are interacting with are strangers. In those situations as well basic Netiquette can play a very important role.
Importance of Netiquette
It is often said that, while we communicate face to face, 55% of the communication is based on body language, 38% is based on the tone of voice or voice modulation and only 7% is based on the actual words that we use.
While communicating virtually we miss 93% of the part of verbal communication that is body language and voice tone and thus making a good impression virtually depends solely on the words that you use. So an individual needs to follow all the rules of Netiquette while interacting with people online.
There are so many articles and reports available on the internet saying a lot of companies look for information about the candidates that they are going to hire online. The information may include the comments that you‟ve made on a post or anything that you have posted over the internet. One needs to understand the fact that what you write on the internet also creates a perception about you. So you need to be very careful about what you are posting on the internet.
Netiquette Rules to be followed
There are two mediums through which a person can interact with others virtually. The first one is text messages, emails, etc and the second one is video calls over the platforms like zoom and Cisco WebEx. While interacting with both these mediums, you need to follow different sets of rules.
1. Putting the appropriate subject line is the key- It is very important to put a subject line that aptly describes the reason for drafting the whole mail. It is mentioned in one of the reports that 69% of the recipients report the email as spam by just reading the subject line. So this proves how important it is to put a good subject line while drafting a mail. Another thing to keep in mind is that you should include “URGENT” only when the mail is really important and requires immediate attention from the recipient, including it very often in the mails may create a very bad impression. Also do not put the subject in all capital letters, that‟s the worst thing you can ever do while drafting an email.
2. Use proper greetings- Salutation while writing emails is very important. Greeting depends on the recipient of the mail. If you are replying to one of your colleagues, then you don‟t need to use formal salutation every time. Just a “Hi” would work in this situation. But if you are writing to someone for the first time or to anyone higher than you in the hierarchy you must use formal salutations.
3. Always check for Spelling and Grammatical errors- An email that is grammatically correct and has no spelling mistakes increases the credibility of the sender and also makes the sender look professional. We need to understand the fact that, many times you would be writing to someone who is not a native English speaker. Writing correct spellings and grammatically correct sentences will help these people to comprehend the matter of the mail.
4. Reply on time- Always try to acknowledge the email within 24 hours. This shows that you are professional.
5. Do not use short forms, slang, emoticons, and jargon- Using short forms like Tnx for Thanks, Gr8 instead of great is not acceptable while writing business emails. Also one must avoid using emoticons informal emails. All this will make you look unprofessional.