In part three of our Being a Good Friend Series, we look at being a good online friend. We've looked at being a good friend? and how to prevent boyfriends from coming between you and your friends, and now we look at online manners netiquette.? It used to be that you just yelled down the stairs or across the street to talk to your friends or family. Now you text, or Skype, or Facebook, or tweet, or... the list goes on and on! The benefits are that your reach is much wider. It’s faster and it’s easier to stay in contact, but there? can be issues and consequences when you don't see the other person face-to-face. But remembering online manners netiquette is really important to being a good virtual friend and maintaining your friendships. Let’s look at the possible downfalls and remember how you can be a good friend when you are online:
- Misunderstanding what’s written- There is a better chance of miscommunication when you can’t see the facial expressions or hear the tone in your friend’s voice. I have heard from many of the teens I mentor that a lot of their disagreements come from not understanding what was really said through texting or email. They think their friends meant one thing when really they meant something totally different. If you don’t think you understand what your friend means, call or meet with her to get clarity.
- On-Line Bullying-? You may also say something that you wouldn’t necessarily say if you were face-to-face with someone. It’s easier to treat people rudely when you can’t see the hurt in their face. Just because it’s online, doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect them. Treat people the way you would want to be treated, with kindness and respect.
- Removing the personal touch-? Are you more connected using these virtual tools, or do you just think you are? Just because you are texting someone 50 times a day doesn’t mean there is a true connection. Dealing with really personal issues through texting, email, or Facebook isn’t a great way to show up for your friends. Break-ups are common through texts. They are hard enough to go through but receiving one by text is just heartless and cruel.
- Talking about your friends’ issues online-? Your friends’ personal lives are their issues, not yours. Don’t talk about people online or in person. We are all human and we aren’t perfect. Have some compassion for what others are going through in order to show online manners netiquette.
If you want to be a good online or in-person friend, just treat your friends like you would want to be treated. Don’t you want to be treated with compassion, honesty, kindness, and respect? I’m sure you do and so do your friends. That's all it takes to have online manners netiquette and be a good online friend!
Keep Loving Yourself, Debra
Teen and parenting mentor Debra Beck, who has spent over 20 years working with teens and parents, is a devoted mother, sought-after presenter, and author.? She has helped thousands of girls develop their self esteem. She now runs her popular parenting website,? EmpoweredTeensandParents.com, encourages girls to be the best “young women” possible, and gives moms and dads the understanding they need to help their girls mature with pride and confidence.? Her award-winning book “My Feet Aren’t Ugly: A Girl’s Guide to Loving Herself from the Inside Out”, has been revised and updated for re-release in September 2011 with Beaufort Books.