Those of you with memories of Internet culture in the 1990s will no doubt recall Netiquette. This is a term which, at the time, was used almost universally to onboard new users. Guides were published - in print, of course - of how to behave when sending an email, when on Usenet or IRC, and when generally surfing the information superhighway. (Incidentally, although this paragraph infers that it was a golden age, which is something that over-40s will tell you over and over, it was anything but.)
The Creative Independent, a support service-cum-magazine published by Kickstarter, appears to have resuscitated the concept of Netiquette. Given the collective nervous breakdown that the Internet is being blamed for right now, it’s quite a timely reminder that manners maketh the user:
Truly take a moment to think about it: How do you want to occupy space online? What are your goals? For me, I am on Twitter because I enjoy writing short jokes and observations, tweeting dumb, fun tweets, and because I love reading dumb, fun tweets. Twitter is also the platform where I promote my writing, and find articles, books, and art I might not have crossed paths with otherwise. But most of all, I'm on Twitter to meet people and connect with other writers. I've forged so many friendships on the website, and it can be really easy to find people you click with or look up to.
Since Twitter's functionality highlights my primary medium (writing), it's a good fit for the work I do. On other platforms, my reasons for being there are different. I don't promote my writing on Instagram because I don't really see it doing well there. I mostly see it as a way to keep up with my friends' lives and see cool and funny pictures along the way. I don't have professional aspirations for Instagram, so it's mostly just a vessel for all my excess energy and idle boredom.
Written by Darcie Wilder, the guide has a rather lovely 1990s feel to it anyway. It’s just a really nice read and might even recalibrate your own approach to, you know, this whole digital shit.