Is the internet destroying good manners?

Yesterday I got the following message via my blogcatalog shout box:

“hey dude, howwa ya. currently i’m participating in my country’s seo contest. any tips?”

(That is a exact copy of the message send, no joke.)

After taking a deep breath, I compiled the following answer:

Dear (name removed for privacy protection),

Thank you very much for contacting me. My best advice would be to use a combination of excellent content and back links.

Regarding the content, here two additional tips. Write content that is most useful for your readers and pay attention to correct grammar and spelling. Thank you for contacting me, kind regards, SY

Don’t get me wrong, I am always happy to help a fellow blogger or webmaster, but in return I expect a minimum of good manners. And that includes addressing me with my name or internet nickname and getting my gender right. Extra brownie points for correct spelling, grammar and a generally spoken good writing style 😉

What do you think? Are good manners and style obsolete on the internet or should we defend them?

Todays “pay it forward” goodie is a blog post by Deb, regarding whether or not women have it more difficult in the blogosphere.

Oh, and in case you don’t know, I am a “dudette” 😉

If you like this blog post and found it helpful, why not share it with your preferred social network? Handy links and bookmarklets above ^^^ 😉

23 comments to Is the internet destroying good manners?

  • There certainly seems a tendency to be more agressive on the Internet, and I am wondering if this is carried over into everyday life. The Guardian’s Comment Is Free, for example, often has posts denouncing other contributions.

    E-mail removes the real-time nature of a conversation and therefore lessens the chance that people will consider how their message will be recieved by the reader.

    One bugbear of mine is when people e-mail me with information on a blog post they have just written that is totally unrelated to my blog, telling me “I thought your readers might be interested in this.” Clearly, they haven’t read my blog and just want to spam me. I asked one person who emailed me a link to a post about online learning (my blog is on human rights) how she had found my blog. She did not reply.

    Personally, I think you were very polite in your reply. “Dude” always gets my back up.
    .-= Richard´s last blog ..Murders of trade unionists in Guatemala condemned by International Trade Union Conference =-.

    • hospitalera

      Yes, “dude” is kind of a “red rug for the bull” for me 😉 I think you are right, people are tempted to hide under the perceived “anonymity” of the internet. I know a guy that is very flippant and aggressive on forums, but when you meet him in person, he is so shy, he barely opens his mouth 😉 Perhaps we all, and I include me here, have a little “alternative internet personality”? SY

  • I’m sad to say that we’ve probably all seen this (or worse). I guess the good news is that no profanity was used. I’ve recently started using Twitter, and it is amazing to me some of the language I hear on there.

    Take care,
    .-= Chris´s last blog ..Dog Hot Spots =-.

    • hospitalera

      Profanity, swear words etc get edited out in blog comments. I really wonder why some people think that gives them more credibility / let them appear more “macho” if they use foul language, oh, and if I get such messages on Twitter I just block the user in question, SY

  • I DON’T think the internet is destroying manners, sure some things are abbreviated a bit, but it’s people destroying thier own manners. I find those who don’t use manners tend to get left behind, if they can’t work out why then it’s their fault.

    If I get 2 messages, one quick, rushed, inpolite and unthoughtful, then I’m not going to give much attention back. But if someone is courteous, specify their needs well and still manage to keep it short, then they’ll get a lot better reply.
    .-= AdventureRob@´s last blog ..Why You Should NOT Go to Thailand… Yet =-.

    • hospitalera

      I couldn’t agree more, just include a “please” in a request and I will go, normally, out of my way to help 😉 SY

  • Yeah, I agree with you, internet is destroying our good manners and is affecting our cultural and social values too.

  • […] Is the internet destroying good manners? »    […]

  • Well at least they didn’t want you to tell them to make money online – I usually get those from the contact form on my website – which is oddly – all about making money online – you would think maybe they might try reading the content first. I have quite replying to these – if they can’t be bothered reading the free content I already provided I really cant be bothered with them
    .-= lissie@Online Income´s last blog ..Move to New Zealand – Australia Compared =-.

    • hospitalera

      Oh, I get these also. One a few weeks ago: “Can you tell me how to make money on the internet without spending a dime?” I wrote back: “Yes, but can you tell me a bit more about you, what you are interested in, your experience level with internet, web site building etc.” Still no answer. I guess these people WANT to find a “get rich over night” scam that costs them money and only makes the seller of the scheme rich. SY

  • not a problem for me.
    maybe that’s their “friendly” way talking to others.
    .-= tommy@home improvement´s last blog ..Quick Repair For Leaking Pipes =-.

    • hospitalera

      Perhaps I am showing my age, but bad manners are bad manners for me. If I want something from another person I try to be polite and write understandable, not slang. I guess the person in question will learn that sooner or later, that he gets more positive responses when he uses a minimum of common sense when addressing people, SY

  • >“dude” is kind of a “red rug for the bull”

    I love it. I agree “Dude” sends a low class tacky language message. But I really love your “red rug for the bull” language. I never heard that before. It’s a great phrase.

    I think many people are more casual on the internet and using e-mail but it is to their own detriment. It sends a poor signal to their readers.
    .-= Ned Carey´s last blog ..1099s Are Due! Have You Sent Yours Out? =-.

    • hospitalera

      There is a difference between being casual and being rude. I am fine with “casual” but until I know somebody well, I avoid using any slang when writing to them. Just common sense, don’t you agree Matey 😉 ? SY

  • We should defend them, I agree with Ned Carey here. Manners are not related with Internet, I think if you see teenagers today and the way they talk and behave, you will get the idea that they won’t get any better on the Internet world either. And those who practice good manners in real world, they maintain it on the Internet as well until unless they’re spending too much time in the Chatrooms.

    • I strongly agree with you Darin.
      In internet you will be influenced at some point if you’re exposed to it or spend more time as what Darin stated. You can freely say what that’s why you can see many people in forums flaming in threads discussion. 😛

  • hospitalera

    Very true, you two! SY

  • I definitely think that there are a lot of people who practice some bad manners on the Internet, but who is to say that they are not the same way in real life. I think it has to do with some people not taking making money online and Internet marketing as a serious job and think it’s just some casual thing that people do here and there. They don’t realize that they should be acting the same way as they would be in a business office. But then again I have worked with some people in an office setting that were a lot ruder than the message you got. Thank goodness I never have to go back to that!!!
    .-= Tiffany @ Passive Income Opportunities´s last blog ..My Online Passive Income Earnings Report for March =-.

    • hospitalera

      Yes, I think it is the perceived anonymity of the internet that makes people do this and also, like you said, same people are just 24h/day rude 😉 SY

  • Internet is not destroying good manner but Internet USERS are destroying good manner. I hope I’m right

  • We should have good manners in everything that we do, even online or in-person, specially if you are the one that is asking for a favor. That guy is lucky because you answered the question and even provide the tips. If I were you, I have deleted or ignored that.