Always eat with your right hand in Ghana; don’t show the bottoms of your feet in Lebanon; only give flowers in even numbers at Romanian funerals: Etiquette varies from country to country. With more and more people using the internet to socialize with others, the virtual realm has generated it’s own set of proper manners, too.
With vox.io being the magical hub for real-time communication that it is, we often keep vox.io open while we use the web (or our computers) for other things. So, just because a friend of yours is online doesn’t always mean they’re available and/or ready to launch into a conversation. Don’t drive your friends crazy—be polite and use proper vox.io etiquette.
Back in 2010, TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington wrote an article outlining what he considers proper Skype etiquette. We’ll share his pointers with you while adding a few more polite habits you should practice while you vox.io.
- Respect the silence
If you’re messaging someone on vox.io chat and they’re not responding, then it’s not a conversation. Don’t take it personally - your friend might be in the middle of something important or was maybe yanked away from the computer. If you’ve greeted the person and aren’t getting a response, don’t bombard them with more messages - just try to catch them later.
- Don’t call someone without checking if they’re available first
As Arrington said, just because someone is online and available doesn’t mean you have an open door to that person’s brain. If you want to call someone, send them a chat message first to make sure they’re available. It can be annoying and/or distracting to receive an incoming call when you’re not able to talk.
- Don’t abuse the enter button
While in a conversation with someone, try to form complete thoughts or sentences within each chat message you send. It’s easy to do, but nobody likes being in a chat with someone who’s writing
and hitting enter
after every few
so you keep getting a stream
until your head almost explodes.
Yes, your friend can shut off their vox.io notifications, but then they might miss notifications for something important. Also, it’s not always necessary to fix each spelling error or typo - unless you think your friend won’t understand what you’re trying to say without doing so.
- Video calls are not a given
Turning your free call into a video chat is not always a given. Feel free to turn your video on, if you want, but don’t always expect the same from your friend. If they don’t turn their video on when you do, chances are they aren’t able—or don’t want—to do so. Don’t hound them about it.
- Don’t assume confidentiality
Before you jump right into the latest gossip or describe the rash that’s been bothering you for awhile, check that your friend is alone behind their computer screen. Arrington recounted the following funny story (well, maybe not for him…):
The worst thing I ever did was Skype message someone, in a rush, to confirm a story. And it turns out that poor person was using his laptop to give a presentation to a group of co-workers. And my skype message popped up on the screen for everyone to see. Bad stuff followed.
Let’s all turn Michael’s embarrassment into an important lesson—ease into your heavy conversations.
- Give your undivided attention during a video chat
Videochatting with someone who’s clearly preoccupied with surfing the web is both annoying and rude. In “real life,” you (hopefully) wouldn’t sit and do other things during a face-to-face conversation with someone—don’t do it on vox.io, either. Also, depending on who you’re talking to, it might be considered rude (or distracting) if you keep staring at the video of yourself and fussing with your own appearance. Look at your friend’s video or straight into the camera to mimic eye contact—especially if you have an online job interview.
- Share nicely
Our in-line content viewer undoubtedly makes us all more share-happy on vox.io, but don’t let that distract us from our manners. Be careful not to share content that might offend certain group chat members or the person you’re talking to one-on-one. This is not to say that everything you share needs to be censored—you should know if something you’re about to send could be hurtful or insulting those who will receive it.
Another good tip: Consider your friend’s vox.io status before starting a conversation. Remember this photo from a QuickTip we posted awhile ago?
There are times when your friend might only be available for chat, already in a call, or offline. Keep that in mind before you try to engage in conversation.
Do any of you have any good tips for vox.io etiquette? Post them below!