I must have missed the memo regarding online etiquette.

By
Real Estate Agent with SKBK Sotheby's International Realty

Recently I've been thinking about the Internet and how fascinating it really is.  We live in such an "information now" society.  EComputerverything we want to know and need to know is right there at our fingertips.... LITERALLY!

In addition to the "need & want to know" stuff on the web, the biggest things that I see happening is people using the web as a major source of socialization.  Maybe it's entertainment??  This really fascinates me because I'm a very social person by nature.  I love getting to know people.  I'm inquisitive, and LOVE making new friends.  I'd be a perfect person to really jump on that bandwagon.  A few months ago, I would say that I was on that bandwagon.... Blogging away! 

What I've struggled with is how one-dimensional the Internet feels to me.  So I have to assume that to many of you out there, you feel the same.  I find myself thinking about the people I interact with online as almost characters in a sitcom.... Well, sometimes a drama!  I forget that these are people, with real lives that choose to share their experiences, thoughts and ideas on the web.  They're "putting it out there".  Make no mistake; I love the friends that I've made on the web.

Think about it.  Your "cyber neighborhood" is made up of things that are of interest to you and the places you visit on the web.  You can socialize with all sorts of sometime nameless, oftentimes faceless, people around the world.  It started with chatrooms and now with the advent of web2.0 you can interact with almost anyone!

What is so interesting to me at this point is the lack of courtesy we pay people on the web.  We think that if no one is looking, we can get away with all sorts of stuff.  It's true!

To me, it seems that many of our social graces go right out the window when we are online.  People say mean things to one another.  In the end, they end up hurting each other.  That makes me sad.

I'm guilty of another type of poor Internet etiquette.  I read people's blogs and never remark.  To me that's almost as bad as not responding when someone say's "hello"!  I hate it when I look at my personal blog http://www.destination48009.com/ and see that no one has looked at it or taken the time to say "hello". 

I forget to stop by my friend's blogs and let them know that I'm thinking of them... again, it's as if I forgot to pick up the phone for a long time!  I know better and I would NEVER act this way in the "real world".  I care too much about people to behave like that.  So to those of you I have neglected, again, I'm sorry.  I may never be a great blogger, but I can be a great friend!

The rules of engagement are changing.  The way we socialize is changing.  It's exhausting... but if you want to participate in this new form of communication, you have to learn the rules and play by them. AND at the end of the day REALIZE that there are real live people out there looking for interaction.  The responsibility falls on each of us to behave ourselves and act appropriately. 

Hey! Maybe someday, I can become the Emily Post of the Internet.
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland
I would comment but it may not be proper.
Feb 21, 2007 07:53 AM #18
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Kristal Kraft
The Berkshire Group Realtors - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022

A breath of fresh air and a worthy gold star!  Sara, funny you should mention "Jerry Springer."  You've missed the similarities!

kk

 

Feb 21, 2007 08:13 AM #19
Rainmaker
512,250
Mitchell J Hall
The Corcoran Group - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC

Good morning Sara,

What a pleasant suprise to see your smiling face and to read your post.

I think a lot of people missed the memo on etiquette not only online but in real life. Hope all is well with you and have a great day.

Your online friend,

Feb 21, 2007 08:35 AM #20
Rainmaker
336,623
Dena Stevens
Century 21 Canon Land & Investment - Canon City, CO
Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004
Sara - You are always such a class act. And your blog reminds me of the movie The Net. Because the character isolated herself she got into trouble. It's only with that human contact that we remain human.
Feb 21, 2007 08:39 AM #21
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty - Baltimore, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Just left you a message on your cell because I was not going to comment. But then I realized that you are swamped taking phone calls,listing and selling.

You might want to take a look at You Can't Take It Back

Congratulations on a well deserved featured post!

Feb 21, 2007 08:58 AM #22
Rainmaker
298,083
Ryan Hukill - Edmond
ShowMeOKC Team of Paradigm AdvantEdge - Edmond, OK
Realtor
Great reminder. I basically just wanted to say Hi :)  Thanks for a great post!
Feb 21, 2007 10:02 AM #23
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

A really well done, thoughtful post, Sara. I think you raise some good points about on-line communication. It certainly makes it easier to be less concerned about being polite or on how to say what we really mean, since you are not face to face. I suspect many would not comment as they do if they were talking on the phone or in person. But I may be wrong here.

Being concerned about etiquette is always important, but I think we so easily forget in our busy on-line lives. Thanks for another reminder.

I know I sometimes don't comment because I don't have a particular thing to say, and some folks criticize commenters who don't add any substance other than "good job" or "I enjoyed this." So perhaps we are our own worst enemies?

Thanks again.

Jeff

Feb 21, 2007 10:22 AM #24
Rainmaker
254,395
Tina Maraj
RE/MAX North Orange County - Fullerton, CA
Fullerton, California Real Estate 714-403-7901
This is so true. I often read blogs myself and even though there are points rewarded for leaving a comment I often feel I do not have  the time to make a worth-wile comment so I just don't.
Feb 21, 2007 10:32 AM #25
Rainer
150,878
Cynthia Sloop
Community Association Manager - Indianapolis, IN
Hello Sara and welcome back from your leave of absence.  Nice post, you received a gold star too!  I don't know why people seem so rude sometimes.  Your post does bring up a big problem to light.
Feb 21, 2007 10:38 AM #26
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Karen Hurst
STONEHURSTREALTY.COM - Warwick, RI
Rhode Island Waterfront!

Sara,

I am guilty of not leaving comments many times. When I first joined, I specifically made an effort to comment on as much as humanly possible. Now I no longer have the time and with so many members, it's not even humanly possible. Unless I did this full time, which is not going to happen! Plus, I have still been trying to spend time with new members, so I don't get around to reading the regulars, like yourself, even though you take breaks now and then.

Sometimes everything has just been said and sometimes beaten to death, so by the time one gets to a post, there certainly is nothing left to say. I don't feel that not leaving a comment  is as rude as some of the "comments" that I have seen.  Another thing, when we are reading a post, like this one, and then read all the comments, we sometimes see another blog on the subject, ie Margaret Rome above, which we then take off to. I had to remind myself to read to the end of these comments and make a comment:)  Now I can go back and check out that other blog. Congrats on your star!

Feb 21, 2007 11:34 AM #27
Rainmaker
241,826
Dick & Sandy Beals
Wilmington Real Estate 4U Wilmington, NC - Wilmington, NC

Sara,

Great insight....you can see your personality and emotional side within your post, and that is good

Dick Beals

Feb 21, 2007 11:45 AM #28
Rainer
23,467
joanne Douglas
Terrie O'Connor Realtors - Ridgewood, NJ

Sara,

Glad to see you back and blogging about it!  

All good points you made here, I tend to be a "lurker" since I don't generally comment unless I have something worthwhile to say.

As you can see from what I wrote here, I just wanted to check in and say "hello"

jo
Feb 21, 2007 01:35 PM #29
Rainer
18,280
Amber Riviere
Brown Bug, LLC - Covington, LA

Where have you been, Sarah?!  It's great to "see" you again! 

I must admit that I didn't mind my online manners a few weeks ago.  I "stopped by" your place (new blog) online and saw that you were just getting things going.  I should've said hello, but I guess I felt that's all I had to say.  Either way, I should have at least "stuck my head in" to see how you were doing.  I apologize and hope that you won't hold it against me.  ;-)  I promise to visit again really soon, and this time, I'll even say hello!

It's good to see your face again on the dashboard!  I hope you won't let the heathens among us (as my grandma would say) keep you from staying around. ;-)

Feb 21, 2007 03:31 PM #30
Rainer
22,866
Allison Werner
To Be Announced - Middletown, NJ
This is a great post, and an inspiration. Common courtesy is being lost, online, on the phone and in person. Thanks again for the great post.
Feb 21, 2007 03:33 PM #31
Rainmaker
222,606
Rick & Ines - Miami Beach Real Estate
Majestic Properties - Miami Beach, FL

Very thoughtful Sara - and nice to see you here, I've heard so much about you!  The whole Internet experience can be a little surreal - wouldn't it be great if we could be as picky about our friends in real life?  On the web, if you don't want to see a certain someone, you don't read their post...pretty simple.  My rule...if I read a post, I comment.  But I am guilty of not going outside the RAIN to read posts and say hello.  Thanks for planting the seed....it has made me think.

Ines

Feb 21, 2007 05:03 PM #32
Rainmaker
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Bryant Tutas
Bryant Tutas-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc - Poinciana, FL
Broker/REALTOR, Tutas Towne Realty, Inc
Hi Sara, Always good to see your smiling face. You don't have to comment on my post, I know you're there. I'm just happy to see you posting.
Feb 21, 2007 05:25 PM #33
Rainmaker
111,571
Chris Lengquist
Keller Williams Realty - Olathe, KS

On this particular post I wouldn't dare read and not leave a post... :)

Good job.

 

Feb 22, 2007 09:30 PM #34
Anonymous
Anonymous
apella

Great Post!

I try to schedule at least one night a week and one weekend day or night to visit other blogs and comment.  It holds many Benefits and with a schedule it is possible to gather the benefits and not be rude all the same time.  Keep up the Great Work!

 

Mar 18, 2007 12:08 AM #35
Rainer
51,173
Lexa R. Montierth
Tierra Antigua Realty - Sahuarita, AZ
Real Estate Sales Agent and Marketer

Sarah, thanks for the heads up.  Yes, I forget a LOT of times to comment when I read through a blog. Maybe I feel like I will say the wrong thing to someone that doesn't know my personality.  But then again, how will they get to know my personality if I don't speak!

 Great thing to think about.

 

Lexa Montierth 

Jul 01, 2007 11:00 PM #36
Rainer
35,731
Sara Lipnitz
SKBK Sotheby's International Realty - Birmingham, MI

Lexa,

Another way of having "good online manners" is to thank a person (like yourself) when they post something as nice as you did!  So thank you!

Sara

Jul 02, 2007 02:25 PM #37
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