Rules to the Road of Internet Communications: Are There Any?
Like most things in life, the advent and proliferation of the Internet has been good, and not-so-good. With access to the world at our fingertips, the ability to stay in touch with loved ones from afar, and, the convenience to purchase our daily needs online (for prompt delivery), these and other Internet-based activities have all added to the betterment of our lives.
For me, the “not-so-good” aspect of the Internet is all about communication, or, frequently miscommunication!
How many communicate first, and think second? How many just want to “get it off their chests,” and feel that in the relative isolation of their homes, workplaces, or in a crowd* they are safe to do so with impunity.
*It’s the new normal to see heads bowed in public – not to pray – rather to use their fingers to fly across phones, to just say it in the moment. Our lizard brains are alive and well, and fed by this immediacy.
What, if any, rules to the road to Internet-based communications are there? And, if they exist, are they followed? If none exists and were propounded, would we ever agree to them? How could they be enforced? All interesting questions.
In the end, it comes down to individual responsibility to exhibit thoughtfulness and restraint, when needed. Time to elevate the lizard brain to our better instincts.
Some of My Thoughts
Overall – regardless of whether the mode is email, text, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or any internet-based communication:
- Think first, communicate second. If emotional, take a pause and communicate when the emotions have subsided.
- Determine the goal of the communication, and then decide upon the best way to achieve it. What if internet-based communication isn’t the best way to ensure the message is heard and understood?
- Does it pass the “New York Times Test?” (Don’t write anything you wouldn’t want your mother to read on the front page of the New York Times).
- Use neutral language to reduce misunderstanding (see my @Medium Post on “Diversity and Communication: The Fork in the Road” here: Diversity and Communication: The Fork in the Road | by Diana Peterson-More | April 2023 | Medium)
- Ask another to read it first, and ask her or him what the message communicated and how it was received. If as intended and received, send it. If not, time to rethink and edit.
Find these tips on online communications and other important communication strategies in Amazon’s #1 Bestseller Consequential Communication in Turbulent Times: A Practical Guide to Leadership. Find it here: Amazon.com: Consequential Communication in Turbulent Times.