We communicate online in a lot of different ways – through email, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and through texts on our phone.
We can use a lot of the same strategies for being respectful in person online, such as active listening by being clear and open with our communication, and respecting other people’s choices.
We can use a number of strategies to ensure we are being respectful on line such as:
- Paying attention to ensure we are understanding messages as they are intended
- Asking questions if we are not sure what someone means
- Being as clear and open as possible with our communication
- Respecting other people’s choices
Just because we can’t always see who we’re speaking to, doesn’t mean we should be any less respectful.
An important thing to remember when communicating online, or with our phones, is how to respect other people’s choices. If someone sends you something personal, always remember to think about what they would want before sharing it with anyone else.
And remember, there are laws that govern what we can and can’t share online – check Lawstuff for the laws in your State and Territory.
When we share things online, we can’t always control where the information ends up. Look at the rumour map below to see what can happen when information gets out online.
Lee and Tessa have been dating for a while. Lee decides to send Tessa a photo of himself naked, to move the relationship to the ‘next level’.
Tessa decides to send the pic to her best friend Anita…
Anita texts the pic to Sarah, Jessica and Nina who talk about the pic on chat online…
Jessica snapchats the pic to Aaron who really doesn’t like Lee, so he takes a screenshot and emails it to Jean-Paul…
Who posts it in their secret Facebook Group with nine other guys from school.
One boy, Asif, posts the pic to his profile and tags Lee, who is really upset when he sees it.
Lee tries to report the photo and get it taken down…
But by the time Facebook responds, the photo has been shared 13 times, and has been viewed by 2,312 people.
Lee’s parents call Tessa’s parents and are really upset.
What they don’t know is that the photo has also been shared on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and is now part of the Google Images catalogue.
Tessa and Lee both get into trouble, and are spoken to by the school Principal and the local police. Because they’re both under 16, there are legal implications of the photo being taken and shared.
Do you see how easy it is for a photo or message to reach thousands of people online? Always be careful with what you share online, and respect the privacy and consent of other people.
If you’re not sure, don’t share.