LET’S be honest. How many of you would put away your smartphone during a conversation or not reply to a text while driving?
If you’re one of those who continued scrolling on your phone or replied to that text, you’re the perfect example of practising bad ‘digital etiquette’.
We can define digital etiquette as the integrity and general responsibility for your actions and yourself on the Internet and treating others like you would in real life.
While practising proper digital etiquette is applicable for everyone, if you’re a young person, it’s particularly important for you because you were born in the generation of technology and are more likely to spend most of your time online.
This is because without proper digital etiquette, the digital world can become a hostile place of pretences, false comfort, and misinformed facts.
This can sometimes lead to unfortunate events such as cyber bullying and online scamming.
When you’re online, it’s important that you know how to use technology without creating a negative environment for other people, so always be mindful of the content and context of what you post.
For example, if you post something that you think is funny but may be quite controversial, it may be seen as an endorsement of that particular content.
So, before posting or liking something that seems controversial, you might want to think twice before pressing that ‘post’ or ‘like’ button.
Another thing to keep in mind about minding digital etiquette is to understand how to be respectful to others online.
Oftentimes, it’s difficult to interpret emotions in emails, text, or comments on social media and this would often lead to misunderstandings.
When posting content or even just comments on social media, it’s advisable to stop and think about the things you’re going to write.
If you’re rude and disrespectful online, people who don’t know you will think that’s how you conduct yourself in real life.
Apart from that, if this practice is adopted regularly online, future generations will also adjust to behaving like this in real life.
So, unless you want the digital environment of the future to be a hostile and dangerous place, make sure you observe the proper digital etiquette.
Everyone has the right to use technology, but with those rights come responsibilities as well.
As such, as ‘digital citizens’, we must know how to use technology in an appropriate manner to create a safe digital environment for everyone.
This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.