Ever since it is considered important to behave in an appropriate manner when it comes to special occasions. During
- a job interview,
- a conservation with your lecturer or
- small talk with colleagues at the annual office party
it is not only a certain dress code that matters but also the way you present yourself through communication, body language and polite phrases.
Nowadays social interaction and professional networking takes place online so that rules of etiquette can get lost easily or aren’t considered at all. A certain Netiquette, however, is as essential as steady eye contact and a firm handshake during a job interview.
As soon as I became a student at a prestigious German university I realized that a supposedly quick email to one of my many lecturers did not turn out to be as quick as I thought it would. Not only had I to include my lecturer’s entire title into the form of address I also needed to use the politest form of address as it was my very first e-mail to the man with postdoctoral qualification.
I was surprised when I learned in a mandatory tutorial on Netiquette that I am allowed to switch between registers of language as soon as my lecturer uses a less formal complimentary close in his response email.
Although we are all sharing one World Wide Web, Netiquette changes across borders. Since I arrived in Ireland I have enjoyed the freedom of simply addressing lecturers with their first name in my emails and closing them with “Kind regards”. Since English is the top language used in the internet, almost 950 millions of users are lucky to adhere to this more relaxed Netiquette, which I frankly prefer too.