Have you ever heard of the word “netiquette”?
If you haven’t, hear me out. Learn it. Because, especially these days, we need to learn it and play by its rules…
“Netiquette” is the “net” version of etiquette — it’s good manners for the internet.
Yes, there’s an etiquette to the virtual world too.
As our elders would say, “how you do one thing is how you do everything”.
I don’t know how you do everything. But when I look at the state of social media, I can’t decide whether I should be shocked or upset, especially after the Idlib operations in Syria amid fallen Turkish soldiers followed by tension with Russia.
Since the beginning of the conflicts, there’s one group that’s been acting as though they were, themselves, “maroon berets”. They take themselves to be members of the Turkish Special Forces Commands — online, of course. They’re the “maroon keyboards.”
And it’s intense.
The Maroon Keyboards know no limit; each and every one of them is a military strategist, a master of the art of war. They’re all over the place.
Thank God, from time to time, we come across expert commentaries who decently follow the developments in Syria. It’s thanks to them we can learn what’s happening.
The targets of the Maroon Keyboards fall into a broad spectrum. They range from those who oppose war to those simply wondering whether “another way out of this was possible”.
They spend a significant chunk of their time insulting and threatening those who don’t think like them. Sometimes, they identify some as “traitors” and reporting them to the Security General Directorate’s social media accounts.
Perhaps the latter is the most dangerous of their acts…
There’s this common statement that goes: “in these days where we need national unity the most…”
It’s very saddening that the first blow to this need originates in social media…
Stop! Thou shalt check yourselves!
In response to this appetite for destruction, the “defeatist troll” accounts add fuel to the fire. They pump out fake images, unfounded news — they, too release their poison. Together, these two fronts, turn social media into a breeding ground for insanity.
I want to cry silently the words, “Stop! Thou shalt check yourselves”.
Cyberbullying and harassment in social media are escalating.
However, the first rule of the netiquette is to “remember the human”.
If possible, we should try and avoid sharing information on subjects we’re not knowledgeable in. And by all means, we should avoid attacking personalities we don’t agree with. These are the basic rules.
What we mustn’t forget is that having an internet connection shouldn’t grant us the opportunity to do things that we wouldn’t dare to do in real life.
Having many followers online doesn’t turn you into a celebrity of a qualified expert. It just makes you a person with many followers.
Similarly, being followed by people who have many followers doesn’t mean you’re an important person who is allowed to pontificate.
Before you send someone something, ask yourself whether you would have the nerve to say that to their face. Research shows that people who interact online without seeing each other, acted differently when they met in real life.
Remember the human
So come on, let’s conclude our article by reading out loud the “10 universal netiquette golden rules”:
- Remember the human;
- Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life;
- Check yourself (state your ideas clearly, be polite);
- Share expert knowledge (if you’re the expert, even better);
- Help keep flame wars under control (Don’t add fuel to the fire or ramble. If you’re the one arguing, try to find a reasonable and respectful solution. Netiquette isn’t against heat debates as these are usually the most attractive group conversations online. However, it shouldn’t end up turning into ad-hominem attacks; don’t turn yourself of someone else into a psychopath);
- Respect other people’s time and bandwidth;
- Be forgiving of other people’s mistakes. Remember, everyone likely makes a mistake at least once in a lifetime. Help instead of offending people with destructive criticism);
- Respect other people’s privacy. Don’t pry into their lives — if someone shared something with their friends only, it’s not your place to broadcast it to the world.
- Check the information you’re about to share and don’t share suspicious content.
- Last but not least, the one golden rule: “treat others the way you want to be treated”.