Etiquette describes the expected acceptable behaviour in a specific group or profession. Netiquette describes the right action on the internet. Digital citizens interrogate their digital environment critically and positively, embracing communication skills and creativity in their respectful and responsible use of technology.
Digital citizenship involves effective and efficient actions (and reactions) in all forms of online communication. Our online students are motivated to invest in their digital learning and development because digital citizens keenly marry knowledge with practice in their workplace integrated learning efforts.
Without self-reflection, online conversations and debates can dismantle into misunderstanding, inappropriate language, and unwanted behaviour, which hinders clear, constructive and collaborative communication. Digital citizens maintain healthy online and face-to-face relationships.
Apply these netiquette tips for digital citizenship and add more value to your virtual relationships.
- Humanity comes first.
It can be easy to forget the human being when we do not see the person we interact with face-to-face. Digital citizens are respectful of people, their online privacy, their time, and data limits. When you foster healthy disagreements, you encourage the ability to also forgive and forget the mistakes of others online. Digital citizens seek to embrace humanity.
- Be ethical.
Just like etiquette, ethics describe the principles that govern behaviour. Before you react to something online, ask yourself if you would say the same thing face-to-face. Consider if you would be happy to see your post on the front page of a newspaper. Cultivating self-reflection and self-regulation enable avid digital citizens to stay calm and be ethical in their online learning and earning endeavours.
- Know your context.
Be aware of where you are and consider the rules of the website or platform. Be factual, professional, and kind in your communication style. Consider your readers and reflect on the purpose of your engagement. This will ensure that you do not exclude or offend anyone. Remember to read for meaning before you react or respond. What is read is not always received in the same way as it would be said. Some consideration will allow you to present your best side online. This is how you may protect your professional brand and invite opportunities for valuable virtual relationships.
- Think before you type.
When you read and reflect first, you are in a better position to control your tone. It is not always easy to express emotion in text format. Responsible digital citizens practice empathy and self-regulation. Always check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation to ensure you send a clear message. Never plagiarize, as this is tantamount to theft. Digital citizens are cognisant of intellectual property, and personal information rights and responsibilities. They embrace the collaborative potential of technology.
- Find your own answer.
Our students have access to course forums, LMS messaging, and training material that can be downloaded for offline use to multiple devices. We encourage students to reach out to the Support Hub and/or expert e-coaches for additional support. Digital citizens are adept at critical thinking and problem solving. They use information repositories to find their own answers and seek support when needed.
Digital citizens employ clear communication online and do not assume that everyone understands where they are coming from. In their pursuit of respect and professionalism, they do not spam, but follow the rules of the environment and remember that when something is on the internet, it is everywhere, forever.