Chatroom Etiquette: Five Things to Never Do While Chatting
Try to remember a while back when the social media was an orderly place filled with composed conversations.When celebrities would post not-so-glorious pictures of themselves eating breakfast or taking a stroll and we’d all go ‘awww’. There was very little trash talk then and most were at their best behaviour. Then boom!out of nowhere, the last decade happened. Now we have‘keypad warriors’ on Twitter wrecking people’s souls,preteens on Facebook making impulsive noise, and even moms sustaining the fake news media on WhatsApp. Clearly, the chatroom has become really messy.
A good example will be an exclusive by the New York Post back in October, 2010 which reported on former Bronx teacher Chadwin Reynolds, who “friended” about a half-dozen female students and wrote creepy comments like, “This is sexy,” under some of their Facebook photos. And despite knowing that the schoolgirls could view his Facebook profile, Reynolds posted a tasteless tagline that read, “I’m not a gynaecologist, but I’ll take a look inside,” Seriously? You mean look into the scriptures or what? Anyway, he was fired after.
Words are powerful and that leaves us with a responsibility of knowing the things to avoid so we don’t lose our credibility, job, and of course, so we enjoy the room better. As someone that loves to study human conversations, I’ll let you in on a few. Let’s go!
1. Don’t Trashify
It goes without saying that talking to people improperly or saying things that normally, we wouldn’t dare say in person is totally wrong. Remember that a message sent from millions of miles away could mean more to people than words from those closest to them.
When you decide to coward behind your device and send missiles of garbage out there, you label yourself as manner less. And mind you, people are watching. All it takes is a screenshot of a mindless comment to wreck your political career or ruin you in years to come. In fact, I believe Brad Pailsey said it best through the title of a song he released in 2017, “The internet is forever”and like I’d love to add, “Her bite could never be nastier”
2. Don’t condescend
Without being sexist, I’ve got to say that this has more to do with females than males. It’s a no brainer though.Females clearly attract more attention being that usually, they are the ones at the receiving end of interests.
Yet sadly, lots of females don’t know how to manage the 'spotlight'.Yes, the attention can sometimes be overwhelming, still, this doesn’t in any regard give you the right to treat people anyhow. They might have lost their hearts to you, but don’t treat them like they lost their self respect too. Don’t patronise them and act like you’re doing them a favour, or like you’re some trophy everyone is chasing after. Get off it!
Some even go to the disturbing length of posting screenshots of people asking them out. Come on! A polite ‘no’ would have sufficed. Besides, you don’t always have to slam the ‘you’re not my type’ reply in people's faces – that’s outrageously condescending! Why not just play it safe and stay sane.
And yes, I know, some admirers cling and don’t let go like leeches. I’ll talk about those too in a bit...just hang with me.
3. Don’t stall – it doesn’t imply maturity
If you fall into the group of folks that intentionally pend messages, I’m here to tell you that it’s wrong. You might not reply on time because you’re busy or you’re just not in the mood to chat – that alright, but once it’s intentional and you even go to the pesky length of making it known, it’s impolite. There are few things that annoy more than people bragging about their poor chatting skills or rambling about the number of messages they’ve left unattended to.You doing that won’t present you as being classy and cute, it’ll rather expose you as someone who doesn’t value people enough.
Bottom line is you don’t need to have special affinity for people to treat them right. If they deemed you important enough to be texted, return the favour by duly responding. Personally, I’ve decided to regularly clear my ‘green’.That is, I take out time to respond to all my texts and I skim through my mails. It’s not about being unoccupied, it is about treating others right. And as unless you’re a celebrity, I don’t think that’s beyond you.
4. Don’t feel entitled
This may sound like I’m changing my stand but I’m not. Even though it’s proper etiquette for others to reply their texts and reply well, it still doesn’t put you in a position to feel entitled to have a conversation with anybody and everybody. It’s their device, time, and words so if they don’t feel like engaging you, it's all good. Do yourself a favour and don’t try too hard. Don’t crack unnecessary jokes when clearly, the other person isn’t ‘digging’ you. Don’t become a stand-up comedian no one laughs to.
If you have a friend that now seems uninterested in your chats, move on! Please don’t wait around forever. Interests change, and so do people. Remember Ralph from the 2012 animation, 'Wreck-It Ralph'? Just look at how clingy he was to Vanellope. Did that work out for him? No! But thankfully, he later realized his fixation, insecurities and that made them cool friends again.
As much as I advocate replying texts, I still believe nothing should be forced. If you don’t feel like chatting with someone, kill the chat skillfully. It’s not a crime, it’s just a civilized way of saying ‘no, I don’t want to talk to you'. But remember, Just play it safe and stay sane
5. Don’t leave out courtesy
This is the final but maybe the most important. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t leave out common sense!
Don’t send your nudes to attract the attention of a crush or celebrity – that’s the lowest anyone can go.
Don’t talk anyhow on WhatsApp – I might just block you. Haha
Don’t reply a proper text with just ‘lol’ or any other unsuitable contraction - that’s a really coy insult.
Don’t spread unverified, racist, or fraudulent messages– they could mislead people in their thousands.
Don’t abbreviate unnecessarily and wrongly – don’t expect me to tell you why either.
Don’t use your business account like it’s personal. Imagine ‘Maxi_Skincare' retweeting adult content. I made that up though,don’t bother searching.
The chat room is for important exchanges as much as it’s for having a nice time with people. But like every other society, there are ethics to be followed. From not trashifying to not condescending, there are etiquette that would clearly make the room a better place. Employ two, three, or even all of these, then we can say you’ve played it safe and stayed sane.