One can comprehend a social gaffe by the reactions of those around them.
Being alone in a room, tapping on a keyboard, one doesn't appreciate how others perceive. Hence one may be thought of as incredibly rude, stupid, insulting, illiterate, and not even be aware of it.
The basic rule when one enters a message board, forum, chat site, is to introduce one's self. This may be as simple as; "Hi, I'm qeyler, " or when one wants to make a point, adding a fact, such as; "I am in Jamaica ,"
Those who jump in and start insulting, using obscenities, are instantly marked as trolls. If you are not a troll, don't do it.
Troll is the generic name for the kind of person who would be afraid to say 'boo' to your face but can threaten you with mayhem on the Internet. This is because of the deindividualisation of Cyberspace.
With the ability to attack 'powerful' people, Trolls create duals so as to have a 'gang'. Undeveloped intellects gain the feeling of confidence when they have a Repulsion of Trolls behind them.
If you are not a troll, avoid rude behaviour. Act as if your mother is watching you being introduced to 'big people' she needs to impress, (and if you don't behave you will not get ice cream.).
Secondly, appreciate that although we may write English, it is not the same English. A person who writes; "It was a filthy night and I had to toss another fag on the fire," is not in anyway discussing homosexuality as many American will believe.
Thirdly, keep all the cute cyber abbreviations to later down in the conversation after people have come to know you. brb, l8r, and all the rest might only put off others who may think you are not capable of writing clear prose.
Yes, even the best of us might type 'teh' for the or leave out a conjunction, but to make it a habit suggests sloppy thought.
Fourthly, if you are selling things, be prepared to be banned, gagged, and otherwise kicked off as soon as it becomes apparent. There are enough ads on the Web.
Test the Waters
Too often one walks into a Forum and makes the assumption that those who post there have specific views. This is not without some basis, after all, if the form is called "Fabulous Feminists" one can assume there are women there who are feminists.
However, be cautious. Too many sites are wrongly labeled. Too many people use a term which doesn't really apply to them.
These women may not be pro abortion and for women's rights. They may simply be women alone who use the term Feminist to hide the fact that they are simply dumped women who are angry at the man who dumped them.
When you begin to post, follow up a previous post with similar sentiments as a test of the water. When you feel a bit accepted, post something real. If it is attacked or ridiculed, don't answer. Leave.
If you have strong views on a subject and push them, you'll be banned. Why allow yourself to be banned? Just leave.
Do try not to become the chain-email centre of your office. If you must send that uplifting photograph or that joke, remove the pages of addresses.
"Don't Choke The Bandwidth" is a basic 'Net rule. Sending two or three screens worth of addresses so that the person receiving the email knows he is number 5,765 is absolutely wrong. Always remove addresses unless this is a private organisation in which the recipient needs to know whom else has been invited to the meeting.
Remember, it may not be correct to expose the addresses of everyone you know to everyone else.
And if you are sending this 'deathless' prose from an office which has security features, please remove the warning from the bottom of the missive. It seems grounds for firing that a secure office will be spamming all and sundry.
Knowing when to Leave
Occasionally you will find yourself stepping into what can only be
described as a cess pool. Calmly log off.
Do not attempt to engage subhuman morons in debate, do not express shock at their behaviour. Simply log off.
There are times when a previously useful site becomes infested with Trolls.
Do not feed the Trolls.
Anything you post to them is depreciated, hence do not post anything.
If a writing site where you are paid for comments, those left by others which push traffic, and those left by yourself which earn, fine.
Pull the Troll's tongue, have him/her/it posting its fingers off. When there a lot of responses from Trolls, you can start deleting the first batch of nasty AFTER you've been paid.
If you aren't being paid, don't answer. Understand that you have no vested interest in keeping a site alive.
If the Mods don't mind, then why should you?