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This article was published on June 13, 2008

    UK’s etiquette bible helps puzzled social network users

    UK’s etiquette bible helps puzzled social network users
    Ernst-Jan Pfauth
    Story by

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

    English people are generally known to be polite and correct people — except when they’re on holiday — so it’s not surprising that when a new social field emerges – like Web 2.0, they immediately start thinking about how to behave. Well, we probably all do – regardless of our nationality – yet the English are structuring it. Debrett’s, “the modern authority on all matters of etiquette, taste and achievement” – has created five golden rules for social network users.

    debrett\'sThe editors of the etiquette bible felt like they had to do their duty when research by operator Orange showed that almost two thirds of the English social network users are frustrated and confused by online etiquette. For example, eighteen percent of the interviewed Brits didn’t know “how to respond to my ex when in a relationship with someone else.”

    Fear no more, my Facebook and MySpace fans from the UK. Here are the five rules that will get you through that new social jungle called Web 2.0. Which, by the way, are also pretty useful for other Europeans who feel challenged by correct digital manners.

    1. You don’t have to make friends with people you don’t know. Think before you poke.
    2. Wait 24 hours before accepting or removing someone as a friend. The delay will help you gather your thoughts.
    3. Birthdays, engagements and weddings are not “virtual” events. Always send cards or phone friends when there is an important event.
    4. Think before posting a friend’s photo what you would feel like if it was you.
    5. Think carefully about your profile picture. Would you want it to be appearing in your local newspaper?