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May 17, 2023

Digital Etiquette


We all have received or sent a message in all capital letters before and although we may have known that a text in all capital letters denotes that someone is hollering or screaming, we’ve either sent it anyway or gotten upset if we were on the receiving end of that text.

Digital Etiquettewhat is it?  Digital etiquette is rules of conduct people online should follow that help them be courteous and polite. Using good manners while online as you would when speaking to someone in person.

One of the biggest etiquette rules that may hit home for Black Girls RUN! members, is to respect others’ privacy by not sharing personal photos that another person may not want published online. We as a BGR! community are always taking pictures, and there may be times that a sole sister expresses “Please don’t post that photo.”  If the photo gets posted anyway, that goes against digital etiquette rules and does not respect that person’s privacy.

We live in a society where being online has taken over our lives. We must remember that it can only take over your life if you allow it.  As with living a sedentary lifestyle, it can take over, and inactivity becomes your standard, and pounds start to creep back on, such it is with social media and online engagement.  If you allow yourself to become consumed with being online for 80% of your day or more, then your life has been taken over by online thieves.

Cell phones have become an extremely useful device for the world.  They have also caused destruction. Destruction to relationships, destruction to opportunities.

Here are some guidelines to use when in the room with others when it pertains to displaying and being aware of digital etiquette:

  1. Put your device or cell phone down when someone is speaking to you.
  2. Put your device or cell phone away at the dinner table, at family functions, while attending church, and when socializing.

Although you may think you are multi-tasking by responding to emails, or checking for comments on your social media while attending an event, just being on your phone actually removes you from that space.  You become disengaged with that group.

It is important to practice being in the moment. Engage with others face-to-face.  The posts, the pictures, and the “getting up to date” with what’s been posted online can wait until you leave the event.

If you pull your phone out to take a selfie during a social event, return your phone to your purse or bag.  Do not keep it out.  Being on your phone disengages you from the crowd you are a part of.

  1. Silence your phone while attending events.
  2. Know your audience. Do not send abbreviations to your 80-year-old aunt.
  3. When replying to emails, only reply to the sender. Replying to all is not necessary unless the sender asks you to do so. Others included in the email chain are disrupted for no reason when the email response was only helpful to the sender.

Another digital etiquette rule is when you are on the phone with someone and receive a call from someone else, do not put the person on hold on the first call for over 30 seconds.  Waiting in line is not showing respect for a person’s time. You should also take into consideration the first person you were on the phone with.  That person should take precedence in your conversation.

Navigating through the digital world can feel like unknown territory.  Making sure you are exercising etiquette rules will ultimately make you feel poised and professional at all times.

Remember – being online should be fun and a shared experience with like-minded individuals you connect with.

By: Eden Barbee-Mabry / (@gardenonthegram – IG/ @EdenJBe – Twitter)
Eden Barbee-Mabry is an Education Support Analyst with the State of Georgia. Eden is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and was led to relocate to Atlanta, Georgia after graduating from Clark Atlanta University in 1988. Eden joined Black Girls Run! in the Spring of 2016 and graduated from the Walk B4 You Run program in June of 2016 and is currently Run Lead for the Fairburn, Georgia group. Eden is a purse lover and strives to inspire every woman because her belief is that although the circumstances may be different, every woman can extract strength from another woman’s story.