Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Netiquette and the Decline of Civility

Part of this post is from an earlier one last summer. It occurs to me more and more often that all of us in the global community are enriched by manners and civility. Simply put, the more we communicate in a mutually beneficial manner, the more our good relationships can grow. In the case of Netiquette, if the respect and tone we individually present on line is positive, all will truly benefit.
Civility in America continues to disintegrate and rude behavior is becoming the "new normal," according to a new national survey. Reports of personal infringements are on the rise, driving 70 percent of Americans to believe that incivility has reached crisis proportions. With Americans encountering incivility more than twice a day, on average, and 43 percent expecting to experience incivility in the next 24 hours, dealing with incivility has become a way of life for many. The study, from Weber Shandwick, Powell Tate and KRC Research, found that 71 percent believe civility has declined in recent years and 54 percent expect the decline to continue. The decline of civility in America is not just limited to its borders but extends to all parts of the globe and all demographics as well. This article (published in Bulldog Reporter 7/30/2013) reflects what most of us know. It goes on to mention causes, many of which are technology centric. Email is among these. In my book  "Netiquette - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email", this issue is addressed in many ways. These include deterioration of basic grammar, lack of clarity, careless tone and many more. For all of the benefits that the technology offers, most of which were undreamed of just a few years ago, many detriments arise. Email and other types of technology communication remove much of the human factor in interactions which increase misunderstandings, promote unintended perceptions by end users and often cause outcomes opposite of those intended. Email quality can be hugely improved for users simply by initiating Netiquette basics into their correspondences. My blog now has 90 posts, most of which give very purposeful advice ranging from description fields, salutations, punctuation, using complete sentences through to communicating overseas and keeping positive tone in one's email . Spend ten every day with this blog or with my book and you will find a change, not only with the thought you put into email but also with the types of positive replies you get. You can also comment and ask for specific advice.
In addition to this blog, I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, " Netiquette IQ - A comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

 If you would like to listen to experts in all aspects of Netiquette and communication, try my radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ and  PSG of Mercer County, NJ.

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