- Don’t say anything online you wouldn’t say to someone’s face. An online comment can be even more hurtful than a face-to-face insult, because once something is written the person can read it over and over again.Sometimes we find it easier to reply with negative comments when the person is not right in front of you and you can hide behind your computer or smartphone. Don’t be tempted; think twice about what you are saying before you post or send, and ask yourself, “Would I say this to someone if they were standing in front of me?”
- Don’t post photos and comments that you cannot take back once you change your mind. Posting something online probably means it will be there forever for others to see or read. Before you say or post anything online, ask yourself, “Am I ok if this is never deleted?” If you are not comfortable with it, don’t post it.
- Don’t share anything you don’t own, without permission. All content was created by someone, and that person owns their content. This includes articles (and ANY portion of articles), photos, memes, reports, blogs, and anything else online that wasn’t created by you. Be aware of copyright laws, ask permission before you share, and be sure to give credit if you reuse or repost an article or picture you didn’t create.
- Don’t believe everything you read. Not everything online is true. In fact, there’s a lot online that’s not true. Before believing (or sharing!), dig deeper. Search for facts. Just because it’s written online doesn’t mean it’s true.
Don’t spend all of your free time online. The Internet is an amazing place with lots to offer. As with all things that provide an “outlet”, moderation is important. Don’t forget that the real world, real people, and real human interaction provide a lot of lessons and experiences, too!