Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Digital Citizenship

Over the past several months I have had the opportunity to travel and speak to students all over Oklahoma.  Though I speak on many different topics within "youth culture" the same one continues to be requested: 'To #Selfie or Not To #Selfie' (Healthy Social Media & Cell Phone use).  It seems EVERY student is struggling with the same thing: how do I handle the freedom of the internet!?  

Most recently I received an email from the Computer Applications teacher at a local high school asking if there were any resources to discuss with his class regarding what he calls: 'Digital Citizenship'.  What a great question, and ultimately, what a expectation for our incoming adults.  How can we become a Healthy Digital Citizen!!  Though this is practically a brand new idea, there's already some great stuff out there (See some of the links at the bottom if interested).  In reading many articles, I think all ages should ponder a few questions when thinking about the internet:
  • What are our responsibilities in regards to using the internet?  
  • How should we treat others and should we look out for others?  
  • How do we want to be viewed or perceived by others?  
  • Should we give back, in some way, through our use of the internet?

Have you ever thought about the internet in this way?  Have you ever "abused" yourself or someone by misusing the freedom of the internet?  Personally, so much time has gone by and so many habits have been formed by non-intentional internet use that I'm frustrated or angry in ways that I completely brought on myself.

Recently, I saw this video and felt it is the most honest take on many of the roles we play in the context of social media in our lives.  Before I say anything more, take two and half minutes and check this out...

Though this video is primarily via Facebook, I think the the context can be applicable to any of the many social media avenues we are engaged in each day!!  Here are a couple questions that popped into my mind when watching this video...

  • Do I only post my "best" life (the good stuff)?
  • Do I exaggerate what's going on in my life?
  • Am I looking for affirmation when I post?
  • Why do I post negativity (Is it just attention seeking)? 
  • Do I ignore people "calling for help" (literally and figuratively)?
  • How much of my life should I be posting anyways?
  • Can my posts hurt others?
  • Is it my responsibility to make sure others are not hurt by what I post?

The list can really go on and on... How do you feel about some of those questions?  Would you be willing to discuss it either in the comments or contacting me?

Here are some great articles and resources to help with becoming a healthy digital citizen:

If interested in bringing 'To #Selfie or Not To #Selfie' to your school please visit our website (Surge Leadership) and click on contact.  If you'd like a FREE copy of the '10 Things You Should Know About Teens & Tweens' manual you can also find it here.

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