It’s difficult to remember a time when we did not have the Internet to use for a large part of our communications. More and more we are turning to the chat function to facilitate communication for business purposes and for social purposes. Understanding some basic rules of Internet chatting etiquette can help everyone use the Internet as a more effective communication tool.
Instant messaging and live chatting rely on the same set of basic Internet etiquette guidelines. Careful adherence to these guidelines will help ensure a pleasant communication session for all involved parties.
- User names: take a few minutes to consider the environment in which a user name will be used. In settings that are purely social funky or offbeat user names are perfectly acceptable; however, in business settings it is critical that user names or avatars are professional. For this reason many are turning to the simple formula of first initial plus last name.
- Language: unless a particular user is completely sure that those they are chatting with are friends, language should be kept clean. It is important to avoid swearing or racial slurs. Again, this can seem unprofessional and rude.
- Capital letters: capital letters denote yelling. Never utilize them unless the intent is to yell at the recipient. Failure to follow this simple etiquette guideline is a quick way to upset instant message or live chat users.
- Space: many instant message or live chat programs limit the number of characters a user has for a particular message. Be aware of the length of each message and avoid using text speech. For example instead of saying ‘CY L8ER,’ have the common courtesy to spell out ‘see you later.’
In general, utilize professional English and keep your conversations relevant into the point. Again, remember that in some social settings these rules may not apply but it is important to note that Internet etiquette standards are clear when it comes to instant messaging and live chat.