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Netiquette In Forums

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Viswamitra, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    We always meet very interesting people in the internet forums. It is very educational to interact with people from various background and different ages. Many times, elders get a good grip and understanding of generation gap in these forums while the younger generation understands the expectations of the elders. Subjects of various categories are discussed freely in such forum and many interact with each other without getting an opportunity to meet each other in person. Sometimes, bond between two forum members could reach heights that could be parallel to closest family members such as mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son, uncle, aunt, etc. In forums of these kinds it is very important to follow etiquette whether they are made in written form or not.

    Most importantly, all blogs or posts should be written in a manner not offensive to anyone exceptions being any writings that are directed at addressing social, economical, environmental, governmental, financial, national or international issues. When we respond to such blogs or posts, even if someone disagrees with the views of the writer, it will be nice to write the respondent’s view point rather than writing a dissenting note. If anyone likes to appreciate a writer for the blog or post, he or she should do so by posting a feedback with specific details of what he or she likes rather than writing “nice one” or “I enjoyed reading it.” If a feedback is to be given regarding improvements, it should be sent through private message rather than finding fault of their use of language or the content of a thread in that thread itself.

    Mostly members in such forums don’t provide their complete profile and it will be difficult for anyone to understand the background or intellectual capabilities of the members. It is always important to treat each other with mutual respect. If someone is posing a problem in their life in a public domain, everyone needs to be sympathetic and try to help if he or she has a constructive suggestions. We need to definitely address their question instead of preaching them what to do or what not to do. No one should underestimate the capabilities of another individual. They may not share all the circumstances leading up to their problem. We need to be kind in our responses. Under no circumstances, one should test the knowledge of another person as it is disrespectful, no matter how much that writer is considered as an expert in one or more subjects by other members of the forum.

    No one should use offensive languages nor should one respond in a derogatory manner even if the original post is controversial and a subject or language used that is not comfortable for someone to read. Particularly, more individuals should not join hands to criticize one writer agreeing with the criticism made by someone else giving an impression of ganging up against one writer. It is best to give a chance for the writer and the individual to resolve the issues themselves. The forum’s etiquette rules govern which post deserves to be retained and the members should only report if they find the language or content as offensive. We should never give personal information in a public domain as it could be dangerous. If we wish to exchange information, it is better if information is sent through private messages.

    Lastly, we need to understand the purpose of interactions in these forums is to build friendship with many people across the world and these are not forums where the purpose is to demonstrate our capabilities or intelligence. When we write, we should write something that might be useful to others and not to sell our capabilities. Every interaction should be with a view to maintain cordial relationship with another member. It is always better to assume that we have more to learn from others than for us to give knowledge to others. By nature, a conflict with someone gives as much pain to us as to others if not more. Let us promote togetherness and thrive on becoming interdependent with a community of people. Let the purpose be to help each other and enjoy the company of fellow writers.
     
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  2. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Well said viswa.You are right. We do not know the exact circumstances under which the post is written. Some facts might not have been revealed full.It is a must that the response is polite and mild not to hurt the already wounded person.

    Though some advices seem to be blunt,that is the reality.Sweet pills cannot always cure the malady.Even some unpleasant advice may be beneficial sometimesThough one should not criticize the person for mishandling certain situations and avoid passing judgements,reasonable advice is what is expected.

    jayasala 42
     
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  3. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Smt. Jayasala:

    I really like your view here. It is important for those who post something about their family or some other controversial subjects, to be a little prepared for blunt and direct response expressing a different view to what was expressed in the OP. However, we should avoid taunting the writers about their foolishness or join hands with others in criticizing the writer in a way that would hurt them further. Reasonable advice has to be constructive and if required, share personal experience than trying to give an impression that one knows better than the other.

    One should use humility with an intend to help someone rather than expressing contempt for the belief of the writer. This is not a place to demonstrate one's skill-set but to mingle with everyone with an intent to enjoy the virtual friendship.
     
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  4. startinganew

    startinganew Gold IL'ite

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    Dear @Viswamitra Sir, Thank for for the much-needed reminder.

    Just after reading this thread, a colleague of mine shared that today is World Kindness day. :grinning: Who knew there was a day like that ? :)

    upload_2019-11-13_15-3-5.png


    I draft about 10X more replies than the ones I actually post on IL - most times it is because I find myself so easily coming up with preachy-responses. And then I delete my drafts and walk away. And thankfully when I log back in after a few days, some of the awesome regulars of this forum have managed to tease out the actual issue at hand and provide wonderful ideas. And I beam in relief - all is well with the world!

    Given the current friction of some of the recent threads, I am so glad you brought this up. And you've re-assured me that all my deleted drafts reached the right destiny. :sweatsmile:

    All of what you say above makes sense. To make it simpler, just thinking aloud here - what would you say be 1 or 2 questions one should ask oneself before sending out a post - in agreement/disagreement to a point of view?

    Maybe: imagine a person who is very special to us and ask ourselves: Would I say this to my kid/spouse/mother/dear friend etc if he/she were in a similar predicament, say X years down the line or X yrs ago?

    Or maybe just - is this the kindest way to express what I want to?

    One form of kindness can sometimes become "unnecessary sugar-coating" of real facts which can also annoy some people. But the key difference according to me is this: In real life, I can easily take a "what the heck are you wearing? please change before you leave home" comment from 1 of my cousins (after I send her a pic of myself), because I know this is how she expresses herself. I have a *model* of her for more than 3 decades - even seeing a comment like this will only make me smile. But in the virtual world we have no idea of who the person giving us feedback is. A straight-forward comment like this would hurt one tremendously - no matter how apt the actual feedback was.

    When I was a new-comer to the forum, some of those whose comments were abrupt - would get my heart racing and I would tell myself: I totally get what you are saying, but pretty-please could you dress it up with some sugar - the OP is hurting and she/he just won't be able to make use of this really useful advice you are giving her/him. But now I have a better model of their "avatars" here in IL. I know that they only mean well, where they are coming from and I have been able to appreciate the valuable role they play here.
     
  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    @startinganew,

    Thank you for your wonderful and comprehensive response. I am so happy to hear about your process of posting anything in IL.

    I never knew that there was a World Kindness Day. Even if there is one, we need to practice being kind every day of our lives.

    It is best to reverse our intended write up as though someone is sending to us when we have a problem and see how our mind reacts to such situation. That would be a good test before we press the Reply button.

    Kindness is reflected in the intention of the individual to suggest something constructive not necessarily in the language. In a forum where we don't know the personalities, it is best we try to be extra careful in our more aggressive expressions. Particularly, taunting individual writers individually or collectively is outright wrong.

    We are not here to demonstrate our capabilities or intellect to others. No one is going to erect a statue for doing that. We need to provide productive write up for people to assimilate, provide their views and they should be accepted gracefully.

    Whether it is original post or responses, they should focus on how it would be perceived. The editing plays an important role before posting. No one should post anything in a hurry. If someone asks a solution for a problem without giving a total picture of their problem, the responses are going to be limited to what they know. The writer releasing more information step by step only complicates the responses made already.
     
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  6. startinganew

    startinganew Gold IL'ite

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    I like this test much better! I will try to remember and follow it whenever I post. :thumbup:
     
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  7. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    We are what we are. Some are tactful and diplomatic, some are not. But all wear a mask. In real life. when face to face, it is easy to spot the face behind the mask as body language reveals the real. In forums it is rather impossible. No one knows for sure who is who. The profile is the mask. Behind that mask hides a face that is a stranger.
    In real life or in forums, it is necessary to observe etiquettes or be prepared to receive in the same coin.
    I, for one, hardly read other than the snippets as most subjects are related to female issues.
     
  8. Agatha83

    Agatha83 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Viswa,

    Good points to ponder over Netiquette posted by you, but I am not sure how many ILs will have a casual glimpse of what you have written here besides following them faithfully.
    We are living amidst a generation, where cuss words thrown in between casual conversation has become a way of life. Just a look at the TOI comments section, will show to what shameful depths, readers could go to show their protest. Readers hide behind the invisible screen of anonymity and post any nonsense without a sense of fear or shame. I think Adhaar, pan cards with contact numbers should be mandatory for registering into this forum. A good idea, I know but not feasible! As usual a good one from you.

    Agatha83
     
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  9. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Agatha,

    Thank you for your response. In recent days, many threads were closed because of intense and aggressive language used by the ILites against each other. It is so funny the way you said that Aadhar, PAN and contact information should be mandatory for registering into this forum. Even then, people may do so when there are no repercussions. Self control is what is needed in this forum. The tendency to have a last word leads beyond tolerable levels. To make a point, one need to express differing view more than attacking those who expressed a different view point. Freedom of expression can be respected as long as it remains within the confines of decency and decorum in public forum.
     
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  10. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Hari Sir,

    I agree each one of us are different. But when we meet in a forum, we can follow certain etiquette at least for the benefit of all members. I need to be conscious about not creating a toxic environment in the forum. Even if the body language is not visible, the verbal communication itself reveals the aggressiveness of each writer. The world is interdependent and to a certain extent, we need to be conscious of how we need to say things even if we differ with someone and use careful languages that wouldn't hurt.

    There are written down etiquette and guidelines for this forum as well but many don't read them. Even one doesn't read them, one could have a general principle of mutual respect to each other.
     

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