6 Things The Internet Has Taught Me About Etiquette [Opinion]

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internet etiquetteOver the years, I’ve learned that the Internet has its own sets of rules and etiquette much like any other culture. Granted, I have also learned something else about the Internet – it’s very cynical in nature.

Here are six things I’ve learned about the Internet, and granted, I used Reddit for my image sources. However, this could likely apply to YouTube and even Facebook. By the way, don’t take these items as if I support them. In fact, I think they might need to be changed.

Everything Needs A Source

internet etiquette

For some reason, our society is obsessed with finding sources for each every bit of information they find on the Internet. If someone says on a forum, “Well, bluh bluh bluh statistic statistic something,” another person is bound to chime in, asking for the source of their information. That’s fine and all, but part of me wonders if it’s even necessary.

If you want to know if a fact is true or not, why not Google it? Besides, it’s much more impressive if you bring a fact to the table rather than make someone prove a fact.

It’s Not Okay To Be Hurt

what is internet etiquette

The Internet is a cruel place, and there’s quite a bit of reason to be hurt or take offense to something. I’m not saying that being offended is reason for anybody to change their ways, but I am saying that it’s okay to be offended by something (however, the Internet seems to believe otherwise). Just do yourself a favor and don’t expect anyone to do anything just because you’re offended about something.

When someone makes it sound like the fact that you took offense to something (after you’ve made your argument) is embarrassing and shameful, don’t worry about it. Just state your opinion (if you want), and realize that it’s okay to have taken offense.

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Even If You’re Wrong, Say You’re Right

what is internet etiquette

On the Internet, there is no such thing as being wrong. Even if you say that the sky is green and two plus two is five, you’re always going to be right. It’s a little bit of a magical concept, but how does it work? Well. Simply, if you say that you’re right, then you’re right. This is due to the fact that there are people out there who believe they always have to win any argument.

So what if the other commenter actually had a credible and logical statement? On the Internet, anything can happen, kids! But seriously, it’s okay to accept the fact that you’re wrong about something. Don’t let your ego get in the way.

Telling People To Kill Themselves Is Reasonable

what is internet etiquette

Commenters on the net are harsh. I’ve seen dozens of people casually tell off others by saying stuff along the lines of “Go die” or “Why don’t you just kill yourself?” People, think about this for just a moment. Say – and this is just a possibility – that the person you just told to commit suicide actually is suicidal and has depression. There’s a high chance that you could actually trigger something, and that’s not right.

What if the fact that he started an Internet argument with you was just a way for him to let off some steam? Some people actually do use the Internet for some kind of stress relief, but is the fact that he started arguing okay? No, but the fact you told him to commit suicide isn’t either. It’s a little different when you’re dealing with actual lives.

The Best Comebacks Come In The Form Of Acronyms

internet etiquette rules

Apparently, and this is just based on my interpretation of the Internet, the best way to to come back at someone on the Internet is by simply stating “GTFO” or “STFU”. I’m not entirely sure what those acronyms mean, but I believe they are something along the lines of “Go taste five onions” or “Stop teaching Freddy unicycling”.

People, these are canned responses. It’s like an Insta-Insult, and they are getting old. Despite the fact that I’m a fan of something called “intelligent conversation”, if you feel the need to hurl harsh words at someone, come up with something a little more creative. Maybe you could talk smack about their car or dog or something.

Never Claim You Have A Girlfriend

internet etiquette

Apparently, it’s totally okay to disrespect women-folk on the Internet. See a girl on the Internet? Go ahead! Ask for the dirty pictures. Does this guy have a girlfriend? See if he’s willing to share a little something. With that being said, you might not want to tell anyone that you have a girlfriend…

Honestly, I believe we should show respect to women here on the net. Don’t automatically assume that just because a girl is on the Internet that she’s available to do your bidding. Granted, I’m still a little partial to the occasional kitchen or sandwich joke, but that’s only if everybody involved finds it humorous.


Basically, I’m just saying we might want to stop the cynicism – rethink what you’re saying on any portion of the Internet. Realize that there is an actual person on the other side of the screen. Does that change anything at all?

What other things have you learned about Internet “etiquette”? Do you agree or disagree with any of the ones shown here?

Image Credit: Digitallatina

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Comments (17)
  • Anonymous

    It truly is a shame to compromise the opportunity of giving out support, by instead being negative. I have personally been tremendously helped by the internet through kind words offered by random people to each other.

  • Bailey Anderson

    Hooray for a section on women! I usually make my profile picture on any website a picture of myself, and I will get plenty of dirty picture requests. It upsets me that women are mainly portrayed as sex toys and quiet little creatures that don’t possess minds of their own and that can be made fun of.

    I’ve had men get mad at me for winning an argument because women aren’t supposed to be smart when it comes to nerdy things. It’s sad that people are still oh so very sexist and that they try to compartmentalize people on the Internet when there are so many different personalities to be found on the *World Wide* web.

    It’s even sadder then their only retort is “get back in the kitchen and make me a sandwich!”

  • R. Campbell

    Women should always be treated with respect no matter where one finds one self. They should all be treated like ladies. Respect your mothers. 

    • J. Lockhart

      I certainly agree, but I also believe everyone should have some respect in general.

    • timmyjohnboy

      Perhaps if men began treating women like ladies, more of them would act more like ladies. In comes the phrase: “Treat your wife like a queen and she’ll treat you like a king.”

  • Anonymous

    I try to adhere to the rule of only posting something if I’d actually say it to someone’s face. I’m sure I don’t live up to that 100%, but it’s a good guide.

  • Gertrude

    Internet reflects the real world in cyberspace. There are various types of people in there with all human nature that exist in this world: cynical, praise, criticize, etc. By using the Internet, we can accept people with all the character and nature.

    • Stanner

      Dont have to accept rudeness
      I know many sites where the moderator will block a member for rudeness or obcenity or even posting off the subject of the blog


    • J. Lockhart

      Despite the fact I dislike it, I’d typically hate to censor anyone (but I’m sure there is a limit.)

    • J. Lockhart

      I’m not entirely sure if it reflects the real world, Gertrude. A lot of people say things they wouldn’t say in real life. However, much like the real world, there are mean people on the Internet.

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For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.