A Little Civility Goes a Long Way Online

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Real Simple magazine has had enough of Internet rudeness, and this week launched "Be Nice on the Internet" week.

The online world is fast-paced and hectic. Many of us are so focused on keeping up, that sometimes we lose sight of the fact that there are other people out there too. Somewhere along the line snarky comments and impatience replaced common courtesy and politeness. Well, Real Simple magazine has had enough, and this week launched "Be Nice on the Internet" week. "Down with rudeness on the Web! Bring back politeness!" it says on the company's website. The magazine has plans to run several articles and tips from January 9 to 13, looking at the negative impact of rudeness online, providing expert tips on etiquette for the age of social media, and touting fun activities on its Facebook page.

Most people act very civil online. But the ones who aren't are highly visible. The anonymity and immediacy of the Web has catapulted rudeness into another stratosphere. It's hard to read an online news article without seeing some accompanying racist or derogatory comments at the bottom. Online bullying has become rampants. And we've had to invent new words about being rude on the Internet, such as "flaming," which means to overwhelm a person's email box or message thread with negative messages, and "snark," which is shorthand for "snide" and remark."

When it comes down to it, the Internet is a facilitator of personal relationships. It allows us to connect with one another in a fast and convenient way. Whether it's person to person, business to business, or businesses connecting with people, we all have to remember that people are the backbone of online success. And being nice is the best way to build strong relationships.

As of 10 a.m. ET today Real Simple hasn't posted any Netiquette niceties yet, but we will stay on top of this as the week progresses. Miss Manners and Amy Vanderbilt would be proud. And with that, I bit you a wonderful day.

Warm online regards,
Liz

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