Netiquette is simply using manners when chatting on the Internet. Whether it's using ICQ or any other client you want to be understood. ICQ number 57163896

Good things to do

Describe yourself. Remember the person you are chatting with can't see you. They don't know whether you are tall or short, fat or thin, if you have children, if you are married. It is your responsibility to describe who you are.

Get a picture. The ancient chinese proverb is very relevent. A picture is worth a thousand words. This will save endless typing.

Get a website. Extenting the ancient chinese proverb to the max! If you have an Internet connection then you probably have webspace available. After all your reading this aren't you?

Stuck for something say? Try chatting about the things that are important to you. Do you have a hobby? Do you enjoy music? Are you going to school? Something interesting about work? I was typing with one woman for a month before I found out she had children. Does this tell how low her kids were on the priority scale?

Be polite, but be yourself. You probably don't know the sensibilities of the person you're chatting with. There maybe sensitive subjects and making light of these may offend however unintentially. Try to pick areas that are neutral at first, then after you know this person send the Sam Kinison wave files.

Be patient. Since you can't see the other person you can't tell what's happening on the other end of their connection. There are many reasons why someone might go offline in the middle of a conversation. So if they go off line in the middle of a conversation there's likely a reason unrelated to you. Don't be offended! Some reasons that I've encountered: Door bell rings, power went out, computer OS/application crashed, hard drive died (didn't hear from this person for a month), cat jumped on keyboard, child/baby playing with power switch. Sometimes the person you are chatting with might be slow in responding. They may have many conversations going, remember your not the only person with a computer. Or they might be busy doing other things at the same time (multitasking on a computer! never!).

Bad things to do

Lie. Who really are you lying to? Very likely the one who'll suffer the most is you. Your conscience will suffer the most. The person you are chatting with will get an incorrect view of who you really are and hurt many feelings. Also it will put any potential relationship in jeopardy. Assuming it doesn't out and out kill it.

Omit a major truth. Not informing your friend if you have a major lifestyle or physical issue that differs from the norm. Failing to inform your friend of something like this is as bad a lie. For instance What's your sexual orientation? If you're chatting in a area where homosexuality is the channel subject and you are a hetrosexual then it would be your responsibility to explain yourself. Also see Lie and Describe yourself.

TYPING ONLY IN CAPITAL LETTERS. This is comes from back in the BBS (Bulletin Board Service for the unwashed) days of computing. When you want to shout at someone this is how you do it. If your whole message is in caps then the reader will assume many bad things about you. One of many would be you have a stone age computer that does not support lower case letters. In this hi-tech world that's BAD. Two that you may have forgotten your CAPS-LOCK on, but are too lazy to change your message. Three that you are a newbie that doesn't know any better. Four you have a room temperature IQ. in Celcius. etc.. There are too many negative things to list.

Flame wars. A flamer is someone, typically a newbie or immature person, who likes to start arguments with inflammatory remarks like "My computer is better than yours just cuz!" Sometimes on news groups, BBS's or IRC groups a couple of flamers will get a war going and waste messages. Consequently any decent messages and conversations will be pushed off. This is a fast way to lose interest in an area.

Bad grammar and spelling. You are trying to communicate using your fingers on a keyboard. This is a fast way to show intelligence or lack of same. Nobody is perfect, but if you can't get your thoughts across what's the point?