The old "please and thank you" track has considerably changed with the advent of the internet. Your teen does a lot more than just homework when he goes online, and teaching the right kind of etiquette is important. You have been teaching etiquette to teenagers of how to conduct themselves in the real world since they were born, now it's time to introduce them to “netiquettes”.
According to Mark Pesce, a digital expert from the University of Sydney's Digital Cultures Program, it is important that kids know how to behave online. This is necessary not just for the sake of those they are interacting with, but also for their own safety. Another digital communication expert Dr Milissa Deitz adds in this regard, that not all rules have been written yet so it is difficult to pinpoint what is acceptable online and what is not; but one thing is clear and that is respect for others.
Over Share is Over Kill
Over-sharing online is a very common thing, and something which can often results in drastic mishaps. One thing you should tell your kids about posting information or pictures online is that it is forever, even if deleted. Over-sharing online could jeopardize their employment potential as well. It is now common for prospective employers to check out Facebook pages and profiles for info on their prospective employee. Imagine the kind of impression they might get if they see pictures of your teen acting like a crazy person at a party. As Mark Pesce puts it, every time someone posts something online it is equivalent to hiring a billboard on the freeway and posting it there for the world to see. While there are ways of keeping things private online as well, once you upload a picture online, it can be copied and re-posted at the speed of light.
The simplest rule to follow regarding respect online is: award people and their rights the same amount of respect online as you would in the real world. Teach your children to think twice about what they are posting on blogs, forums or social media outlets.
One of the biggest nuisance of cell phones and laptops is that they have erased the thin red line between what's real and what's virtual. Taking calls or continuously updating statuses at the dinner table or any situation that calls for undivided attention is rude. So teaching teens the right time for communication with the virtual world is crucial. A teen tapping away on their cell phone as the family eats is not a situation that should be allowed or tolerated.
Watch their time
Make sure that your kids are spending a reasonable amount of time online. If your kids spend more time online than they do with the family, doing their chores or contributing to society, its time to do something about it. Lay down the law about what amount of time spent online is healthy.
Who are they speaking to?
And last but not the least; make sure you know who your teens are talking to online. This is crucial for keeping your kids safe online. Remember that stalkers and cyber bullies are just as much part of the virtual world as pedophiles and criminals are part of the real world.
Keep in mind that teaching etiquettes to teenagers pertaining to the cyber world or the real one, is necessary for their own success and safety.