Week 2 – The Medium IS The Message

In the unit this week we looked at netiquette which is a portmanteau of (Inter)net and ettiquette. Ettiquette is defined by Google as the “customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular group” and online there are many different “groups” that require different behaviours. Navigating these different groups can be challenging, particularly because online interactions don’t typically take place with the physical social cues that in-person behaviours involve and a person may not have anyone acknowledge their miscues directly, which leaves one to continue to make social or digital errors.

I tried to think of an online context for which I did not have much frame of reference and I immediately thought of Snapchat. I do not use Snapchat, but I do have a cursory knowledge of how it is used and what it is for. If I were to start using it would I come off like a novice, much like my parents did when they began using Facebook? Am I my parents already??? I found a video that illustrates some of the common behaviours that using Snapchat requires. A few of these behaviors are common sense to a digital native and have some commonality between the norms of different social media platforms but many of these tips are specific and would be unbeknownst to me without guidance or heavy use of the platform.

Who knew Snapchat was so hard?

During our discussions in the forums the idea of email etiquette was broached and there were many strong feelings about how one should write an email. As a general statement, I dislike email and the technology. I try hard to limit the emails I receive and try hard to limit the emails I send. I think if a technology was designed well, one wouldn’t have to do these things. Between emailing, messaging, and texting email is dead last in terms of efficiency but I understand its necessity in this day and age. When the communication is for a specific back and forth between two people in a formal or professional relationship, formal letter writing conventions should be adhered to. Greetings, salutations etc. However, once there is cordiality I am inclined to disregard unnecessary text. My inclination is that we are all busy here and formality takes time to craft and read and if it lends nothing to the message then it should be removed. No one frets when texts are written this way. The medium truly is the message.

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