Life Etiquette 101: Respect Goes Beyond Real Life.

So you’ve probably heard the saying, “50% of all jokes have some truth”. Well, I was watching a video last month about Internet Etiquette that actually had me LOLing (yes, for real). And it was filmed by none other than NYC Talking’s Editor, Angel Rodriguez. In between his jokes and light-hearted take on social media, I saw a lot of value in what he was saying. Was he right? Are people becoming too pushy on the Internet and forgetting that respect goes beyond real life?

Use your manners

As a writer, I’ve come into contact with lots of different people on the Internet. Some younger, some older; some less experienced, some wiser. But I’ve learned a lot here and there about how to communicate with others, what works, and what doesn’t.

I’ve always been a believer that manners are very important in real life. I’m the sort of person who says “please” to use the toilet in your house. The sort of person who says “thank you” if you’ve just cooked me dinner. And says “sorry” if I’ve made a mistake or hurt your feelings.

This is simple behaviour that I consider important in how you treat other people.

So, rather than be forceful about your blog, your business or your product; politely ask favours of other people. Be friendly, be helpful, be easy going.

Manners go a long way, both in the real and online world.

Build relationships with others, don’t just sell

You’ve probably been subjected to online comments like:

“Follow me on Twitter!”
“Buy this!”
“Why haven’t you replied to my email yet?”

There is so much pushiness on the Internet.

A few months ago, I had a mere 36 Twitter followers. Within two weeks, my follower count was up to 900.

What did I do differently?

I stopped trying to ‘sell’ my blog and started building relationships with other people, instead.

I engaged in conversation, retweeted others, asked and answered questions. I tried my best to make a valuable contribution.

Nobody likes a telemarketer who pushes a product down their throats, or the person at the door that won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. They want someone that genuinely cares about their needs.

When you show others respect, they will respect you in return. Only then will they be willing to listen to what you have to offer.

Give, don’t just receive

Kindness is a two-way street. Don’t ask favours of other people, if you aren’t willing to do any in return. If someone reads your blog, have a look at theirs. If someone retweets your work, do the same. If someone gives you patience, show them some in return.

Alternatively, if you’re caught in a social media relationship that is one-sided, speak up and let the person know how you feel. If the situation doesn’t change, then cut yourself off from them.

Don’t be caught up in doing favours for people who don’t support you. Your needs are just as important as theirs.

Respect goes beyond real life

Each of us may be sitting behind a screen, but we are also sitting here as human beings. What we say and how we say it is so very important.

So think twice before you bully someone online, or forcibly push your product onto someone else. Think about the respect you deem necessary in real life, and apply the same respect to those in the online world.


Please look at the date on posts, it may be an old view. Growth and change.

Angel Rodriguez
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Thuy YauPhil Recent comment authors
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Totally true. I try to follow these rules too. It’s just common courtesy and respect which goes a long way.

Thuy Yau

That’s great, Phil. Using your manners takes little effort, but it makes such a big difference. Good on you for showing others respect! 🙂