Navigating the New Rules of Netiquette

We’ve learned a new word. Teaching proper netiquette, the do’s and don’ts of online communication, can help students better understand what is socially acceptable when they are online for personal or professional purposes. Encourage your learners to consider how an outsider, perhaps a future employer, would view their media sites.

Help students understand that what they write and post on social media platforms, things like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, are public, are permanent, and can have a long-term effect. (And middle school teachers, this applies to many of your students as well, since they may already be experienced social media users.) Nowadays, future employers, co-workers, college admissions officers, and faculty can and often do check out an applicant’s or individual’s online presence.

Tell your students to choose a long-term email address they can use for college and employment applications, resumes, and scholarship opportunities. Encourage them to leave out nicknames or anything inappropriate. Ask them, "Will this email address make a good impression?" A professional email address doesn’t always have to be a full name. Some suggestions might be a combination of first name, last name, and/or initials.

Be sure to share the Top 20 Social Networking Etiquette Tips for Teens with your students. By teaching netiquette rules for working online, you can promote online and real world best practice: Be kind and courteous and treat others as they want to be treated.

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