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Etiquette 2.0: A Guide to Online Manners

(ARA) – New laws about online harassment have put online bullying center stage in the headlines recently.  While much of the recent news focuses on adolescents and teenagers being bullied on the Internet instead of the playground, the problem of online bullying transcends age. It can affect anyone participating in blogs, social networks or even those using e-mail.

Fortunately, some of what might be seen as bullying could just be a case of improper etiquette. Following proper online etiquette can help those on the Internet navigate the virtual world with social grace and manners, no matter the level of their online activity.

“When online, we often don’t take time to think about the consequences of our comments,” says Sheelagh Manheim, PhD, co-author with Jack Jonathan of “Yes, You Can . . . Find More Meaning in Your Life.” ”Many of us can type as fast as we think, so when we compose an e-mail, comment on a blog, or communicate through social networking sites, it’s easy to write and post something we may regret later.”

Jonathan and Manheim, frequent contributors to, are sharing tips to help others create a more harmonious life through the use of proper online manners.

“Whether online or in-person, when we are comfortable with social graces, we are able to deal with different social situations with natural ease and confidence,” Jonathan says. “In return, people will feel comfortable with us and we will have a positive experience with our relationships.”

Jonathan and Manheim offer the following eight online manners.

1. Use good grammar and punctuation.

2. Use language you would use in person.

3. Follow the golden rule and communicate online as you would want others to communicate with you.

4. Be aware of the recipient’s values when you send e-mail jokes, political cartoons or religious stories.

5. Remember, the Web is a public medium. Be careful that what you say is not
too private.

6. Don’t gossip or spread rumors.

7. Don’t harass people with too many e-mails.

8. Avoid sharing intimate feelings.

Following these manners can help Web users find harmony in their lives and friendships. “People expect you to be aware of the rules of conduct of the society in which you live,” says Jim Stowers, founder of American Century Investments and co-author, with Jonathan, of “Yes, You Can . . .  Reach Your Goals and Achieve Your Dreams."  “When you know the rules, you can cultivate a natural, easy manner that will help you get along better with others.”

For more information on online etiquette and creating harmony in your life and relationships, please visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent