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Netiquette for Community Health

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Netiquette refers to behaving properly when on-line, according to Shea (1994). Behaving properly in our Community Nursing class on-line refers to proper ways to communicate with other students in our discussion boards, emails, and other online communications. I interpret this also covers how we text each other during group projects. Essentially, what we write and how we sound in our discussions matters – it is important! To help us understand the social rules governing these on-line communications, Shea (1994) relates several rules that can serve as guides to keep us from being impolite, hurting others’ feelings, or sounding pompous, mean, or uncivilized.

Shea’s (1994) rules for cyberspace communications include communicating with others as though they are present. In other words, the author suggests being kind and courteous even though you are communicating online. Also, the author recommends that if you would not say something to the person’s face, you are advised not say it online, remembering too, that written communication online can be forever stored and shared.

Shea (1994) also suggests abiding by the law and being ethical, along with knowing the domain that you are communicating in and understanding the culture of communication there. This can be understood through reading the interactions in a given domain and following the rules of communication there.

In addition, Shea (1994) suggests respecting other people’s time by being concise with communications (I like this one!), making yourself look good by being grammatically correct and writing well. She advises that you know what you are talking about and make sense by paying attention to what you are saying in your writing. Pleasantness is a standard and angry discussions need not take place, but rather respectful, polite disagreement is the rule. Shea recommends sharing expert knowledge when you have it, but not sharing it impolitely. If you know more than most about the Internet and its culture, try not to abuse that power by taking advatage of others. Forgiveness of others’ errors is also a good rule to follow.

In summary, the netiquette rules are useful to us all. These rules can help us improve our focus on writing clearly and concisely, writing with respect for others. These rules can guide us in helping each other with our primary goal: learning to learn to communicate and learn about our Community Health.

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