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Netiquette - rules and tips for more courtesy on the Internet
Nowadays, the Internet is a constant companion in everyday life. Increasingly, more and more children are online. Communication via the Internet is therefore particularly popular. The children like to use social networks and messaging services such as WhatsApp to exchange ideas. However, many forget that there are also rules of conduct for the World Wide Web that one should adhere to. We will show you how you can teach your children what is known as “netiquette” and how important this is for communication.
Netiquette: definition and why it is so important
Robert comes home after school after his classmate Hans fell in physical education class. In the group chat, Robert makes fun of Hans: "Today, Hans was totally disabled in sports again!" Robert's best friend Xavier agrees: "Yes, this fat man can't even walk properly."
Situations like this are commonplace and now normal for many children. The children do not consider how the affected classmate feels. But as in the real world, polite interaction is necessary to prevent worse consequences. These rules of courtesy on the Internet are also known as netiquette. The term netiquette is made up of the words "Net" (English for "Netz" - ie the Internet) and "Etiquette". Transferred to the Internet, the netiquette describes the handling rules in forums, comments, social networks, etc.
Many internet users, including children, feel anonymous and invulnerable online. The network is often used as a means to really let off steam after a bad day. In addition, the inhibition threshold on the Internet is much lower than would be the case with face-to-face conversations. It is therefore important that you set a good example for your child and show them that politeness and respectful interaction also play an important role in the internet world. Otherwise, situations can quickly take on unimagined dimensions. For example, if people are targeted on the Internet, this is called cyberbullying.
Netiquette when chatting, in messenger and in forums
Communication via messengers, chats and forums is particularly popular with children and young people. Outside of school, they exchange ideas there with their friends, but also with strangers. Often these chats are not monitored. It is therefore easy to lose courtesy.
However, there are special messengers or chat rooms for children in which they can chat in a safe environment with family members and / or friends, for example.
TheChats and forums for children are mostly supervised by moderatorsso that impolite behavior can be addressed and resolved immediately. These offers are ideal for small children in particular to learn “Internet etiquette”.
Regardless of whether they are monitored or not - your children should always adhere to a few basic rules. These include, for example:
- Read first, think then, then post
- Don't settle a dispute online: it is better to clarify a dispute orally than in writing
- Keep texts short: long texts are often not read carefully and can be misunderstood
- Do not send chain letters / spam
- Don't get impatient if someone doesn't answer right away
- Pay attention to spelling: Do not send the message directly, but read it at least once
- Pay attention to the address with “you” or “you”
- No excessive use of the shift key or special characters
- Do not write anything personal or intimate about others
- Please and say thank you
- Do not respond equally insultingly to insults from others
If your child feels rude to others, talk to them. Make it clear to him that you should only behave on the Internet as you would face to face.
Netiquette on social networks
Additional manners should also be observed for the popular social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Co. Content is sometimes shared via social media channels with immense speed and spreads unimaginably quickly. For example, it is sufficient if a private picture of a teenager ends up in the wrong chat and someone else forwards this picture without being asked. It happens again and again that children and teenagers are victims of insults due to inadvertently shared content. The consequences and repercussions for those affected are often almost unbearable. It is therefore all the more important to think about what to share, write and like beforehand. You should also make sure that your child does not reveal too many details about themselves in order not to become a target themselves. For example, if the private address is publicly available on the Internet, bullies can specifically visit their victims at home. The same applies to all other data that you should only share with people you know well.
In addition to the above-mentioned rules of conduct for online etiquette, the following applies to social networks:
- Be economical with private information
- Do not provide or share a phone number or address with others
- No racist, sexist, or discriminatory comments
- Differentiate between close friends, acquaintances and strangers
You should definitely not spy on your child on social media. It is better to talk openly about whether something interesting is currently being shared online and what your child thinks about it. Don't be afraid to address sensitive topics. This creates more openness and trust for both of you. More tips on how to use social media safely.
Netiquette for photos and videos
Nothing spreads as quickly on the web as photos and videos. They are quickly divided and often do not need a description. But not every image material is suitable or desired for publication. Please note:
- Do not use or forward third-party photos without consent
- Do not distribute photos and videos that show violence
- Pay attention to copyright
- Avoid embarrassing photos and pictures without a statement
Explain to your child that photos and videos are generally not allowed to be posted without the consent of whoever appears on them. In addition, you should always ask yourself whether the picture / video is really necessary and does not harm anyone. For example, videos and photos should never be secretly recorded, especially if a person may be depicted unfavorably on them.
General rules for handling internet-enabled devices
In addition to the rules mentioned for better cooperation on the Internet, the use of Internet-enabled devices in general is also important. For example, it is very rude if you want to talk to someone in person and they are constantly looking at their smartphone. Therefore, pay attention to the following points with your child:
- No smartphone while eating
- When meeting others: Use your smartphone as little as possible
- Make quiet calls on the train or bus
- Only make calls and deactivate tones in public facilities in an emergency
In summary, the following applies here: Be a role model for your child and put the smartphone away yourself or put the notebook aside. Even more information on the topic of responsible use of PCs, smartphones, laptops and co ..
Conclusion: Be a role model for your child
Polite behavior is something that is often neglected on the Internet. The right way to deal with other people is important in order to prevent serious problems such as cyberbullying. Without the stipulation: “Read first, then think, then post”, nothing should generally be written or shared on the Internet. Therefore, explain to your child how important it is to act carefully and politely on the Internet. You should also adhere to the above rules yourself - this is the only way to set a good example for your child.
Further information on the topic can be found on the following pages:
- www.chatten-ohne- risik.net
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