Understanding What You Say
The internet is an amazing place to share your ideas, thoughts and opinions but it comes at a risk! My “5 do’s and don’ts” list will help you avoid those risks. It’s hard to tell when someone is actually mad or happy online. Most feelings or emotions can’t be shown through text or words that you see online. However, the way you write online can tell others a lot about you. This is both good and bad, because if you do it wrong people will interpret it either way! So here are some do’s and don’t when sharing your ideas or messages through the internet.
The 5 Don’ts on the List
Here are the 5 don’ts that you should avoid! Believe me, it’s worth seeing if you or someone you know does any of these.
1. DON’T TALK ONLY IN CAPS
Believe it or not, people will assume you are angry or yelling at them. But you aren’t yelling you say? Well, that doesn’t matter in the online world. Caps are rarely seen as being helpful to make things easier to read. It’s bad to use caps in most everything including emails, forums, comment posts and so on. Using only caps to speak will often get others upset or you’ll lose respect for not writing properly. Just simply don’t do it!
2. Don’t Act Like an Animal? Quack?
Role playing online is fine, but during discussion boards and forums it’s inappropriate. Believe it or not, there are several people online that will end all their sentences with a “quack” or “mew”, or something else. Even in professional circumstances I have seen it in emails or situations that are completely inappropriate, with varying ages even into their 50s. Just don’t do it! It looks unprofessional in a business setting and on forums people will typically ignore your opinion.
3. Don’t Overuse Acronyms
Despite following these 5 do’s and don’ts, it can be difficult to judge this one. Basically, don’t use the typical acronyms when writing professionally for your job or any business situations. Unless it’s a business term or name, don’t use them. Writing “lol” as if you are “laughing out loud” doesn’t always come across very professional. Even the ones like “afk” which means “away from keyboard” might be misunderstood. Just write the whole word out to avoid confusion! But in forums or more relaxed environments, feel free to use them just don’t overdo it. Ending each sentence with “lol” will make others wonder why you’re laughing all the time!
4. Don’t Overuse Slang! Got it Bae?
It’s definitely rare to use them in professional situations! The problem with them is that they have several meanings and it depends on the audience interpreting them. You can look up the definitions but they change depending on the website explaining them. Words like thicc, bae, phubbing and so on are not always easy to understand. If you use slang for personal conversations that is alright but even in forums or in comment sections it can demote your own intelligence. After all, if people can’t understand you or your made up words then they no longer care about your comments. Use them with caution or not at all!
5. Don’t Reference Wikipedia
This one is very important on the 5 do’s and don’ts list. You don’t want to reference Wikipedia because a lot of others can edit the content. When you reference Wikipedia you risk being judged for it, appearing less intelligent or unreliable. It’s very controversial but it’s not an accepted source of information on an academic level either. There are several occasions where Wikipedia has been used for professional situations, only to have it smack the user in the face later on! Also pay attention to other web sources to ensure they are accurate as well. If you use Wikipedia, then check the references and go directly to their sources instead.
The 5 Do’s on the List
We’ve seen the 5 Don’ts on this “5 do’s and don’ts” list, now let’s see what the do’s are! These are suggestions that you should follow and use.
1. Do Add Your Thoughts
Your thoughts no matter how small they may seem, are very important. If you have a way to improve something then always share your ideas. Always provide healthy input which is the opposite of trolling (yes I know I used slang there, the right way!). Your ideas have a lot of value if you convey them in a healthy way.
2. Do Provide Sources to Educate
While it’s great to have an opinion, providing a source to back you up is always a plus. Instead of arguing about facts you can simply give a link to a reliable source (not Wikipedia). This also helps to make you appear reliable and trustworthy. You can do this in a professional setting as well. In fact, it’s encouraged if you are making statements in your emails. The more proof the better.
3. Do Add Emojis 🙂
This might surprise you but people find a smiley face pleasant to look at! It’s an odd one to have on my 5 do’s and don’ts list, but it’s crucial to use. Larger companies like AT@T and Verizon, have been including emojis in their live chat conversations. This helps to let people calm a bit or to understand the emotions of the other person writing. Online language is difficult because we can’t see each other’s faces and emojis help with this! You can finish a business email with a small smiley face but make sure you understand how the business operates first. Older businesses are still somewhat stuck in the past.
4. Do Write How You Speak
Anyone can write an extensively long sentence that is full of information but it doesn’t seem all that natural to you in the end does it? If you didn’t pause in that sentence, then you have strong lungs! There’s a reason why we use commas to split up long sentences. Read it to yourself and ask if that’s how you would speak in real life? No? Then rewrite it until it flows naturally to you. People want to read something that is exciting! Maybe even a tad amazing! But if your ideas get crowded in long boring sentences they won’t be interested in what you have to say.
5. Do Have Patience
Lastly on my 5 do’s and don’ts list, is patience. The internet can be infuriating with language barriers. The whole internet is a language barrier, simply because people can’t see our faces. Aside from using webcams, it can take time to instead write out each word. Live chat for tech support can also cause struggles. If someone is frustrating you, try to be patient and understanding. Never let them upset you or ruin your day.
The End of ”5 do’s and don’ts”
This brings me to the end of my 5 do’s and don’ts list! Online language is difficult and it stumps the best of us. Always take it a little bit at a time and try to understand the other person. Here’s a freebie just for reading this far — never have fights over texts or emails! Our relationships whether professional or personal, can benefit by speaking through words the right way. Words are a beautiful thing, but they can also misinterpret our vision when we write them. I hope this helps and feel free to share your thoughts and comments below or here!
Originally published at techvirtuosity.com on February 16, 2019.