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The Dos and Don'ts of "Skype Etiquette"

Everybody’s got pet peeves. It’s human nature that inevitably some things will annoy us. Skype makes it easier to stay in constant touch with your friends and family, but it also can make it easier to bother them, too. There’s nothing worse than hearing a bunch of pings or getting an incoming video call when you’re trying to get work done – or worse, when you’re sharing your screen to give a presentation!

Whether you prefer instant messaging, Skype-to-Skype calling or video calling, we’ve gathered some general guidelines to ensure the best Skype experience (and, to help your loved ones keep their sanity). Here are some tips on how to avoid awkward moments on Skype by having proper “Skype etiquette”:

Send an Introduction Prior to IMing

If the person you’re trying to reach isn’t responding, it’s not a conversation. As stressed in TechCrunch, the best way to start a Skype conversation is to first send a message asking if the person is free to chat. On the off-chance that they aren’t, try to refrain from the tempting act of bombarding their window with messages and hitting the ‘Enter’ button too frequently. Here’s a funny video from TechCrunch demonstrating what happens when you abuse the ‘Enter’ button:




Send a Note Before Video Calling

While Skype is a great way to stay in touch with loved ones, it’s important to note that they may be away from their desk or catching up on work. Sending them a quick note before making a video call is an easy way to ensure that you aren’t disrupting anyone.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

About.com notes that when interviewing or conducting a business video call via Skype, remember that the viewer can see you and what’s behind you. Do you really want your business partners seeing that AC/DC poster or your dirty underwear lying around in the background? Be aware of your surroundings before starting a video call!

Go Easy on the Multitasking

One important tip blogger Liam Dempsey shares is to give the person you’re video calling your undivided attention. Just because you’re on your computer and can easily read and send emails or surf the web while engaged on a video call doesn’t mean that you should. Not only will the other person be able to tell if you seem otherwise distracted, but depending on the placement of your computer’s microphone, the sound of your typing may come across as well.

Now it’s time to tell us: what are YOUR biggest Skype pet peeves? Share with us in the comments below.

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