Netiquette? Learning the Hard Way.

Public is public even if it’s when we are in our PJs online. I had to learn a few things about being online and some of it was the hard way. I hurt people’s feelings and felt terrible about it. Let’s face it. I didn’t know what I was doing and it showed.

What is Netiquette?

It’s manners on the net, simple, straight forward manners, unless you don’t know what you’re doing. Here’s my story and what I did about it.

It didn’t take long before I realized my sarcasm could and was being taken as personal attacks. Face to face most of my humor is through sarcasm and that’s fine when people can see that I was kidding. Is this kind of behavior recommended while communicating online? Not so much. I had to give it up.

I meant to be funny and instead I made a terrible impression. Even though I was forgiven, mostly, it was not forgotten. Not by me anyway.

Netiquette Recommendations

Capital letters means shouting, but hey we can shout in a happy voiceβ€”use πŸ™‚ etc. But I don’t shout every word. I use my inside voice when commenting, posting, etc.

It may be silly but spelling can be critical. I’ve left off the n’t of a word and boy did that change the meaning of the sentence. I’m constantly commenting when I read other blogs. I try to remember to read my comments over before posting.

I’ve learned to communicate with my reader in mind. The Net is a public place. Anyone could read what I wrote and misunderstand it. It isn’t up for a moment. Some things could be up for years. Let’s say it is a popular post and everyone that visits the blog reads my comment.


First impressions are lasting impressions and I’m still back pedaling from earlier.3069040

The people I’ve met online are some of my best friends. I hold how they feel about me dear to my heart and go out of my way to write clearly, precisely and with affection. It may look sappy, but in the end I don’t care.

No one is walking away limping.

Spam or Personal attacks

Everyone makes mistakes. Hey, I know I did. I’ve gotten over excited about what I was doing and bombard everyone with too much information or after all my efforts to get along I offend someone with an ambiguous statement

I was forgiven. Feeling pretty lucky, I try to get along to get along.


It’s a sharp and slippery edge we’re on when putting ourselves out there. It is worse on the net because facial expressions aren’t there to be seen. I always try to come from a place of respect, pleasant attitude, and hope it shows. Thanks for coming by.

Anything you’d like to add? Anything I forgotten? Here’s the time and place to share. Shout it out.


24 responses to “Netiquette? Learning the Hard Way.

  1. I think a mistake I make constantly, is reading comments and emails once and only once and think I get it. I have learned and am still learning, I must always reread things and sometimes out-loud, because if I don’t, I always mess up some meaning or instruction. :0) Oh yeah, I print stuff off too now. Happy Tuesday Anna!

    • Hey Erika,
      Sounds like we have a lot in common. I just don’t have the stomach for hurting people if I can help it. And it only takes a second to read something over. πŸ™‚

  2. You’re right, this is very important. If I’m just wailing about my books, or sharing a fun post, then I don’t worry about it so much, because I’m pretty certain the only person I can offend with those is me :P; however, I occasionally have something a little more serious to say, which requires more tact, and I always have to take the time to be sure my words won’t be misconstrued, because I’d hate for someone to be offended by my choice of phrasing. πŸ™‚

  3. I agree, it’s hard to be funny/sarcastic in social media. Because the reader can’t see or hear the nuances that often make the sarcastic comment also funny. But this does not me that we of the sarcastic crowd must give up in our attempt to bring a little humor into the world. Just careful…

  4. I think we have all made our share of blunders. I have always tried to be careful of what I say, because I have seen others mistakes. But, like you said, sometimes in our excitement we do something that offends someone else. I can only hope that my friends will stick around long enough to know that I never meant to insult or hurt anyone in anyway. After all, I do this to have fun and want others who talk to me to have fun too. Sarcasm does not go over very well in cyberspace and I too have had to curb my sharp tongue. Great post!

    • Thanks, Sherry.

      Once I know someone, I know them. I get what you mean about trusting they know not to take what’s said to heart. I think hurt can come from being insecure. Sometime we hit too close to the mark.

      Anyway thanks for being kind to me. πŸ™‚

  5. I can totally relate to everything you said in this post, Em. I’m made some horrendous bloopers on-line in the last few years. I still make mistakes and hope I don’t offend too many people.

  6. Great netiquette advice. I often use the emoticons when I’m attempting to go with humour. A πŸ˜‰ can go a long way πŸ™‚

  7. It really is hard to know exactly what people are saying over the internet especially when you don’t know them personally and their sense of humor or personality.

  8. This is so true, and I think we also have to remember when ”reading comments” that there is no tone/emotion in the comment left by others, be it twitter, email, blog, facebook. So we as readers need to be careful not to misinterpret the writer’s’ intent. I told my teens texts don’t have emotions. If you are unclear call them, or ask..Do not get all mad because you assume they have offended or are mad at you.

  9. jenniferbielman

    I very great post. I have the same problem. My sarcasm doesn’t translate well on the internet. I have been working on it because I don’t want to hurt peoples feelings.

  10. I totally understand you! I use sarcasm a lot in real life and it can be hard to do it on the net so I try not to. And I always have to read my comment twice or more before posting them because I always think I made a mistake somewhere. Maybe because English is not my first language I tend to think I will say something that migh seem wrong.
    Great post

  11. Wonderful, wonderful post. It’s easy to come across differently than we think, because people can’t see our expressions and hear our voices. And spamming is the worst!

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, with Joy)

If you're new to writing, ask me anything and if you're experienced, feel free to share what you know. Learning something new in the craft is always welcome.

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