When communicating online, especially without seeing someone’s face and reactions to the delivered message, many people tend to forget some of their usual manners and politeness. If someone is not directly affected by their counterpart’s reactions, they tend to be more direct and, in some situations, even rude. At the same time, people often tend to not make up any lies when writing emails or otherwise written messages, as such ways of communication always carry the feeling of being “recorded” and serving as proof for lies.
This topic revolves around proper online etiquette (also called “Netiquette”), especially in collaborative settings and what kind of manners should be accustomed by, especially when communicating digitally.
Despite common belief, online etiquette differs from the usual face-to-face etiquette we show when interacting with someone. Online communication, especially when without being able to see someone’s face or hear their voice, provides many communication issues which can be interpreted in the wrong way. Therefor it is essential to apply the proper etiquette and rules when communicating online.
In general, it is advised to read a written message out loud for yourself before sending it. You might realize that some parts seem too strong, rude or inappropriate in another way. And this allows you to change the message before sending.
Materials: internet access and electronical device for everyone to check their emails/work chat
The participants are asked to check their last three messages / written interactions to their colleagues or work partners. They are asked to analyse their last three emails regarding the 7 rules identified for online etiquette:
-Stick to the message
-Capital letters and exclamation points
-Grammar and spelling
-Use of emojis
Did they adhere to online etiquette? What can they improve on? Have they misinterpreted someone’s reply without counting the possibility of misinterpretation?
The participants are asked to share their experiences with online etiquette:
The trainer asks them for reasons why someone might be more rude and direct in written communication, compared to face-to-face interactions.
Materials: 3 coloured paper sheets, white paper cards, markers
The coloured paper sheets are put into three categories:
Online work chat | Email | Digital face-to-face (video chat).
The participants are then asked to write down what kind of communication rules are allowed in each of the three settings. They can write their ideas down on the white paper cards and put them on the coloured paper sheets.
Example: “Using emojis” can be put up for the online work chat but should not be included in the emails and are less needed when the interaction is already face-to-face.
This topic highlights the importance of using proper wording, grammar and terminology when interacting digitally, especially in written interaction and how choosing the wrong type of etiquette can result in misunderstandings and miscommunication and end digital collaboration.