This is a guest post by Kylie Prescott, a Journalism student, and a part-time writer. Kylie enjoys writing short stories focusing on the plight of teens. Having a young adult novel published and being a war correspondent are two of her greatest dreams. You can follow her on Twitter and at Google+.

All parts of the world are now connected via the internet. Depending on what angle you’re looking from, it can be a double-edged sword. These are the good things about the internet because bad sides certainly exist.


There are people who make the supposedly positive side of the internet into venomous tools to hurt and disrespect others. From Youtube to Facebook, you see users bashing and hating on others. Wars in the comment sections exist even when it doesn’t make sense most of the time.

Since the majority of the interaction that happens online is through messages, you need to think of every word thoroughly to avoid misunderstanding. The blanket of anonymity the internet offers seem to bring out the worst in many users. It’s surprising how some people who are pleasant in real life becomes scathing and obnoxious behind their keyboards. It’s unthinkable if it’s deliberate or unintentional, but it’s best to put a stop to it.

Of course, preventing people from going online is foolish. What’s left to do is remind internet users that web interaction can hone good relationships if only they remain kind with their words and considerate with their actions.

Be Mindful Of Cultural Differences

You will meet all kinds of people online, and you’ll meet people of varying nationalities, with upbring and beliefs different from yours. It’s okay to be curious about the differences and raise valid questions regarding other people’s cultures, but don’t poke fun. If something bugs you, ask questions politely instead of jumping to conclusions. Remember that you may also seem different and peculiar from the point of view of other people, too. How would you feel if they judge you for your eating habits or your religion?

Respect Differences In Opinion

Most of the petty arguments that happen online are due to people’s difference of opinions. It’s impossible to be in agreement with everyone but to personally attack someone because you view things differently is a different matter. It’s alright to join heated online debates, but to disrespect someone because they don’t side with you is childish and irrational. Don’t bring up nationality, gender, religion, and social and educational background of a person when you argue.

Don’t Be A Grammar Nazi

Just because you graduated from a prestigious university doesn’t mean you can go rampant online pointing out the grammatical flaws in everyone’s composition. It doesn’t mean you’re free to point out mistakes in syntax on every article you come across. So many messages are lost in the internet traffic because people can’t see past the grammatical mistakes. Don’t be too thick to understand that English isn’t everyone’s first language.

Ask For Permission And Give Credit

In websites and blogs, posts are encouraged to be shared online. But if you see a good post on Facebook, ask your friend’s permission first if you could post it elsewhere. Most social media sites that have private security and depending on a user’s setting, some of their posts are only seen by contacts. There are people who don’t like their photos being posted elsewhere. To be on the safe side, always give a citation. It’s best to learn how to properly cite online sources.

Don’t Overshare

When something is too private, think twice before posting it online. If it’s something that will cause discomfort to anyone who reads it, then please refrain from sharing it. Twitter is a common platform where oversharing happens. Don’t catch your online contacts off guard by tweeting about something that can only be mentioned in the confines of your bedroom. If you can’t stop yourself from oversharing on social networks, then provide a warning or find a different platform to express your points freely.

Stay Away From Cyber Bullying

Bullying is a pressing concern and the fact that it has infiltrated even online interactions of a teen is troubling. It may seem harmless to pick on a kid on the internet since it’s not happening face-to-face, but the effects are as damaging. Ignorance is never an excuse, so try to learn how online bullying happens. To stop this will take tremendous efforts that no individual can handle alone, but you can be one of the instigators of change.