Should their be Etiquette to the Internet?

How many times have you heard some one mention how Facebook is ruining our lives?
I’ve heard it plenty, and I’m telling you, I disagree… but I am definitely weary of the internet on some general level.
Not only have I noticed that my attention span seems shorter, but I’ve also noticed how communicating through the internet has certainly caused some significant problems in some of my real-life relationships.

Maybe its the way the medium DOES allow us all to act on impulse; maybe it has something to do with the way we can so easily misinterpret the message we are receiving, or conceal the message we’re ACTUALLY sending… whatever the cause, there is definitely a problem.

Have any of you ever gotten into a petty fight with a significant other, or a close friend, and as a punishment, childishly deleted them on Facebook, or MSN Messenger, or Gtalk? I know I have…hah… it’s one of those things you regret instantly…then what follows is that familiar, sick, cramping feeling that enters into your stomach, then all your limbs, and you curse yourself until the moment the stupid action is resolved.

Have any of you ever been more inclined to deal with serious problems through internet communication than face-to-face interaction? I certainly have… and I know it’s definitely caused it’s share of problems as well. There are definitely some people that will become seriously offended when you use email, or instant messaging to blanket statements or mediate between yourself and others.

So here is my predicament: The internet seems to allow us to act in certain ways, say certain things we might not normally say, sarcastically take a stab at people that annoy us while including a 🙂 that somehow makes that okay; we can delete our friends, delete the messages they post on our wall, we can casually not respond to emails, we can forward incriminating photos of our friends or post them on Facebook… the list of indiscretions goes on and on.
Now I don’t think the Internet is an evil by any means, but I think the way that we use it can definitely contribute to the implications of others that suggest that it IS a serious evil in the world.
Sometimes I wish that there wasn’t this different set of prescribed rules to the Internet that allowed us to interact with each other in such a casual, terse, inattentive, sometimes hurtful way. I wish that I wasn’t guilty of this myself.

Perhaps the way we use the internet needs to be reconsidered, perhaps there needs to be more of a human type of etiquette to internet communication… but would that take away all the unique pleasure that the internet presently affords us?
I couldn’t tell you… all I know is that the amount of time I spend every day staring into computer screens, televisions screens, phone screens, door screens, etc, really might indicate that either I need to get out more, or that these sorts of things are entirely taking over my life.

To be continued…

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One Response to “Should their be Etiquette to the Internet?”

  1. The internet is much like phone in a sense that it didn’t happen all at once. Thomas Edison wanted to say “Ahoy-Hoy”, but “Hello” took over. The internet is a little more complex and is changing a lot more rapidly than telephone has.

    Remember when people were screening calls like crazy? Why pick up your phone when you can figure out who it is before hand? It’s now considered rude, but still happens with caller ID. Same with the internet, it’s going a little slower, but even the little kiddies are catching on and are learning how to type and conduct themselves with some decently and etiquette.

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