Communicating online

Important steps to consider when communicating online.

Communicating online is something that many of us would not have thought about doing 15 to 20 years ago. According to Michigan State University Extension, online communication has even changed in the last 3 to 4 years. This article will explore online communication related to emails and other professional posts that take place online. There are several things a person needs to think about while they are communicating online. Your online communication can be how a potential employer perceives you.

According to Good Manners, a Michigan 4-H resource, a person should think about the following before hitting the send or submit button.

  • Spell and grammar check messages. Do not send messages that are filled with mistakes
  • Typing messages in all caps is interpreted as yelling.
  • You do not have to respond to every email message you receive, but do respond to those with specific questions.
  • When someone overwhelms you with emails that keep you from important jobs, tasks or work, let the sender know you have to cut back on email so you can get other things done – keep this in mind when you are sending emails to others as well.
  • Do not forward another person’s personal email or email address without their permission.
  • Do not misrepresent yourself, lie or engage in pretend conversations.
  • Be cautious with internet chatting and tell a trusted adult, your parent(s) or guardian(s) if anything makes you uncomfortable.
  • Reread messages before clicking the send button – why? Computer messages are different than face-to-face conversations. They are instant and a form of written communication. Think about how your message is going to sound and be interpreted by the other person before you send the message. If you would not say something in person, do not write it online.

Good Manners also provides information on making introductions, being interviewed during a meal and being a host. More information on workforce preparation topics can be found on the 4-H Career Preparation website. Workforce preparation refers to the skill-building, educational programming and training done with individuals to prepare them for work.

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