Maybe it’s because we spend so much time online, we forget that the people we’re sending messages to are human beings. They have a face, not some goofy avatar, and an actual name. They might own a puppy.
So, before the next time you send out a tweet, blog, or start a Hangout, ask yourself: Am I being a jerk?
If you don’t know the answer, here’s our guide to the telltale signs:
1. Posting anonymous comments. If you’re going to contribute to a conversation, tell people who you are. Don’t hide behind oh-so-precious monikers such as “I Luv Hemingway,” “Reading This Article,” or “PRdivalicious.” If you don’t provide your name, it looks like you’re hiding something. And it just makes you look silly.
2. You’re attached to your smartphone. Whether you’re at dinner, on the soccer sidelines, or playing pat-a-cake with your 2-year-old, your smartphone never leaves your sight. Put. It. Down. There’s a time and a place to tweet or post—and it’s not when you’re talking to someone face to face.