Greetings and Salutations

My mother sometimes quips that opinions are like noses – everyone has one. With the growth of the Internet, expressing those opinions has become faster, more efficient and quite ubiquitous. Letting the world know what you think about anything at anytime has surpassed even written form. Youtube, for example, is inundated with rants and raves.

In an age where what you say can quickly be transmitted, the question of how to behave online arises. What rules govern the ways in which we communicate with each other digitally? Certainly with new innovations, it makes sense that new tools are needed to decide what conduct is or isn’t appropriate.

The relatively new and pervasive access to portable electronics has changed the way we interact in ways both profound and mundane. The rules of engagement on just about every level have changed along with this access. Given that, shouldn’t it also cause us to examine how we use them in polite society? –  Candace Karu

This blog will attempt to figure out:
What behavior is acceptable and which is not

How we can maintain our manners within digital mediums

What happens when common courtesy is dismissed

Obviously (as with anything), there will be differing opinions on what constitutes acceptable behavior. It is to be understood then, that this blog will be a subjective account on the matter of manners across digital modes. Any tips provided (unless those explicitly stated as otherwise) are based on my own set of personal beliefs. The intention is not for them to be taken as gospel truth. My hope with this blog is to offer insights on how we can best respect each other not only online but through all digital forms and maintain civility even when the medium may dictate otherwise.

In addition to recent cases of cyberbullying, issues surrounding anonymity/identity and privacy (Tyler Clementi) are also brought into an already complicated equation. Vicious comments that may start out online can be transferred into the real world through text messages and phone calls. On the other hand, the opposite may be true. Disputes begun in the real world may take on a life of their own once introduced to digital mediums. These issues are particularly important to resolve as children are growing up in a world where technology dominates their communication.

I am, of course, not the first person interested in this topic or willing to provide some friendly tips either serious or sarcastic. That others are invested in the motion of maintaining digital decorum is encouraging. Hopefully this blog will just be on addition to an ever growing and changing discussion that we can all be a part of.

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