12 Rules for Surviving on the Internet
3 min read
The internet has eliminated distances and we still haven’t learned how to deal with it. The high level of noise causes a lot of confusion, but it is possible to survive in this jungle enjoying the best of it.
Since my daughter was born, I have automagically started paying more attention to the offline and online behavior of so-called digital natives.
Yes, I have become old I have been impressed by my difficulty in understanding how people repeatedly fall for “digital banana peels” planted strategically on social media.
Sometimes I have the feeling that digital natives are like fish that are unaware of the existence of water and therefore do not understand its real properties.
Looking at some flamewars, I came up with 12 pieces of advice I would give my daughter today for her to use the internet as a tool to broaden her possible paths.
It’s far from a finished list, but I believe these are relevant points.
1. The internet is not an extension of your room.
Behave as if you were in public, especially on social media.
2. There is no deletion on the internet.
Never expose your private affairs.
3. Respect other people’s feeds and content.
It is not because you can read that the space of the other becomes public. On the contrary, treat it as private.
4. Don’t fall into the illusion that you can do anything on the web.
It exists in the real world with rules. Ignoring this can bring you unpleasant consequences.
5. Learn to write well.
That way your text can be firm the same time that you keep the space you need to change your mind when you learn something new. Changing your mind is natural and part of anyone’s progress.
6. Attack ideas, not people.
The form of the text will help you to define this boundary. Learn to write better.
7. Don’t confuse power struggles with dialogue.
Never negotiate with haters and militants.
8. Never apologize for a mistake you didn’t make.
Don’t take the bait of narrative hijacking attempts.
9. Get tough.
Interaction is a contact sport, and building tough skin will give you emotional resilience without losing your sensitivity.
10. If you receive criticism, assimilate it if you think it’s relevant.
But don’t feel obligated to respond. Especially if it comes from a random person who got into the flamewar discussion.
11. Always use the minimum necessary force.
If you get into a heated argument and you’re right, reach out to the other person as soon as he or she indicates reconsidering. Never gloat, so you can have the opportunity to get out of a conflict with a new friendship.
12. Seek the truth.
If you get into a heated argument and you are wrong, change your position. Understand how to do it by learning and studying the flaws in your reasoning. This will be much easier as you practice advice 5.