As instant messaging and texting grows in popularity, the need for messenger etiquette has become a bigger requirement. Texting and instant messaging has become the preferred communication for younger people, supplanting email.
Here are some basic etiquette points for instant messaging:
1) Use the “away” feature responsibly. Do not say you are “away” and leave your computer for two hours. You can be away for up to 10 minutes. More than that, you should log off.
2) Respond to comments within 1.5 minutes. If you take longer, other people participating will assume you are gone or you don’t care.
3) If you are in a group conversation and somebody else wants to be invited to join, ask the members of the group if it is ok to include this other person in the conversation. It is rude to impose somebody else’s presence on others.
4) If you use acronyms, make sure the people involved in the conversation know what they mean. Otherwise, your message could be misinterpreted.
5) Say “good bye” before you sign off.
6) Be careful of what you write in your instant messages. Conversations can be saved and used against you at any time. The document can be printed or forwarded to the wrong people. Keep that in mind.
7) Wait for your party’s response. Don’t send message after message asking for response.
8) Don’t type in CAPITALS. It is shouting and it is rude.
9) Use your judgement when you use emoticons. Some of them can be misinterpreted and the conversation can take the wrong turn.
10) If you are in a common room using a computer, turn the sound off to not disturb the others. This gesture is highly appreciated.
These simple rules can take you a long way in your relationship with others, your computer friends and the ones sharing the room with you. Consideration to others is never wrong.
We would love to hear it! Share your experience about how good Internet etiquette (including cell phones and other electronic gadgets) has made the difference for you!