SMC Netiquette

"Netiquette" stands for "Internet Etiquette", and refers to the set of practices created over the years to make the  Internet experience pleasant for everyone. Like other forms of etiquette, netiquette is primarily concerned with matters of courtesy in communications. The following sections provide more information.

1. Remember the Human.

Do unto others as you'd have others do unto you. When you're holding a conversation online -- whether it's an email exchange or a response to a discussion group posting -- it's easy to misinterpret your correspondent's meaning. And it's frighteningly easy to forget that your correspondent is a person with feelings more or less like your own. 

2. Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life.

Don't believe anyone who says, "The only ethics out there are what you can get away with." This is a book about manners, not about ethics. But if you encounter an ethical dilemma in cyberspace, consult the code you follow in real life. Chances are good you'll find the answer.

3. Make yourself look good online.

You won't be judged by the color of your skin, eyes, or hair, your weight, your age, or your clothing.

You will, however, be judged by the quality of your writing. For most people who choose to communicate online, this is an advantage; if they didn't enjoy using the written word, they wouldn't be there. So spelling and grammar do count. 

4. Don't post flame-bait.

Finally, be pleasant and polite. Don't use offensive language, and don't be confrontational for the sake of confrontation.

Classroom Communication & Decorum

·        Practice scholarly discourse. Whenever possible, try to begin comments with sincere affirmation of the other (e.g., “While Sam made a good point, I argue that. . .” “I liked how Aditi noticed that . . .”) 

·        Avoid generalizations about others. Avoid essentializing by assuming that certain experiences are universal. Use “I” language. Based on the sensitive topics that will be discussed in this course, respect is essential ~Discriminatory words and/or actions are not appropriate, nor will they be tolerated.   

·        Maintain a climate of civility where all participants can feel comfortable expressing their views without fear of reprimand. Again, I welcome discussion, disagreements, and intellectual growth by thinking in new ways. In the case that you are unsure of how to communicate your thoughts on a controversial issue, please keep sensitivity to others at the forefront.

·        Avoid personal revelations and anecdotes unless they are relevant to course topics and you are absolutely confident that you are comfortable sharing your personal experiences in class or on-line. Opinions are welcome in our class as long as they are voiced in an appropriate manner.

·        Write and speak thoughtfully to avoid any dismissive or misunderstood messages. If an online or classroom interaction is unpleasant, talk to your instructor after/before class. Try to resist defensiveness. Differences are OK ~ No two people are alike; therefore, ideas and opinions are going to differ also. Keep in mind the extreme difference between saying, “That’s stupid,” and saying, “From my perspective, I see things differently.”

·        Stay focused on academic issues, not people. Any arguments need to be made about issues rather than personally directed at other students. 

·        Support your position with class notes or course texts. You can also refute this information with course concepts. I welcome respectful disagreements and deliberation as a form of learning. Please feel free to ask questions and share your ideas, participation is essential in this course.  

·        Lastly, technology is a wonderful tool for communication that should be used in a professional manner. When communicating via technology, please compose your messages in a professional way (use a greeting, standard capitalization, and punctuation) and I will do the same when communicating with you.