Facebook Chat Etiquette

Facebook Chat Etiquette

Online chat usually refers to the communication we use over the Internet. This is done usually by direct one-on-one chat or even text-based group chat through instant messengers. Along with this new method of communicating online comes some proper etiquette and unstated rules, also known as Chatiquette.

Some basic rules of online communication have been outlined in an effort to avoid misunderstandings and to help simplify the communication between users in chat. Chatiquette can vary from community to community since it describes basic courtesy; we know that courtesy in different cultures or communities can vary. Chatiquette introduces a new user into the network culture.

One thing that can come across as rude is typing in all upper case letters. When one does this it appears as if the user is shouting and may be mad. It could also give off the impression that he or she is angry or upset. Upper case adds emphasis to a word and makes it stand out so if you have the caps lock on when typing an entire sentence or group of sentences, it comes across as though you’re yelling.

Another unwritten rule for online chat is ‘do not take longer than 3-5 minutes to respond’. Chat is usually done via IM, whether it’s MSN messenger, Skype, g-Chat or another program. Answering someone on IM shouldn’t take longer than 3 minutes. The maximum is 5 minutes! Some people respond very fast while others take a minute or two as they may be multitasking or working from home. But you probably shouldn’t be logged on to your IM if you are unable to chat. With some platforms you can also set your status to say that you’re currently “away”, “unavailable” or “busy”. Try not to respond with a one-word answer. This can kill usually conversations.

With that said, if you are logging off or will be away from your computer for a little, it’s courteous to notify the person you’ve been chatting with. If you know you will be away from the computer for more than 10 minutes say “BRB”, which is short for “be right back”. You could also change your status or availability, as mentioned before, but telling whoever you’re talking to that you’ll BRB is even better. Should you unexpectedly sign in and out during an IM conversation then it is your responsibility to restart the chat by jumping back into what you were talking about or starting with an apology. It is understandable that some people have a weak Internet connection that causes them to get knocked offline, but it is polite to let your chat buddy know. Always say “TTYL” or “goodbye” if you plan to leave; but don’t just sign off.

It isn’t necessary to fix all spelling errors and typos. Only worry about doing that if what you wrote was the completely wrong word or you know that the person you’re chatting with isn’t going to understand without you fixing it. In online chat you do not have to always be grammatically correct. Also avoid using unreadable or lightly colored fonts. That can be annoying for the person trying to read it. Emoticons are another great way of expressing yourself in online chat. Facebook now has its own chatting capability. There are special emoticons created just for Facebook that you can use. Some are similar to instant messaging emoticons but many are custom-made. Try them out and start using some chatiquette.

Want to find out more about Facebook emoticons, then visit the site on how to use emoticons for Facebook.
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