Good digital citizenship is one of the most important things we need to learn by ourselves these days. It is vital for all of us to know how to use online tools appropriately and effectively. Being digital ready means appropriate and responsible use of technology (i.e. our expressions, opinions, interactions, and fair use, etc.).
It is important for all of us to remind ourselves that, whenever or with whatever we interact online, we are the owners of what we post online. A few considerations to be digitally ready are as below:
(a) Screen Time
Screen time is what we spend on an electronic device with a screen such as a smartphone, computer, tablet or on a video game console. We should be reminded to disconnect from the device and spend more Green Time and Family Time instead. A few points to consider are
(1) Control multi-tasking to enhance better attention;
(2) Understand screen time, the harmful effects of excessive screen time and gaming addiction;
(3) Develop self-control in digital use.
The use of technology can infringe upon privacy. We must therefore have the ability to handle with discretion all personal information that is shared online to protect our privacy. A few points to consider are
(1) Understand Personal Information and its related Privacy;
(2) Keeping Private on Social Media;
(3) Protecting other’s privacy;
(4) Privacy settings exist across most devices and platforms;
(5) Understanding internet privacy as a basic human right;
(6) Realise which is important, either privacy or user convenience.
Cyberbullying is a form of bullying on electronic platforms i.e., smartphones, social media, text messages, emails, chat rooms and websites. A few points to consider are
(1) Identifying cyberbullying situations;
(2) Identify if you are cyberbullying someone unknowingly;
(3) Learn how to deal with cyberbullying;
(4) Learn when and from whom to seek help when you are getting cyberbullied.
(d) Digital Identity
Digital identity is the personal data that exists online and can be traced back to the person who posted it. Build and manage a healthy online and offline identity with integrity. A few points to consider are
(1) Learn the moral principle of a digital leader;
(2) Be a global citizen online;
(3) Think about your long-term dream and purpose in life;
(4) Have harmonious online and offline identities and online integrity.
(e) Digital Footprint
Understand the very nature of digital footprints and their real-life consequences, manage them responsibly and actively build a positive reputation online. A few points to consider are
(1) Understand what is digital footprint;
(2) Be aware of how digital footprints reveal personal and private information;
(3) Understand the persistent and viral nature and after-effects of digital footprints;
(4) Understand real-life consequences of digital footprints;
(5) Develop a strategy for positive digital footprints.
(f) Cyber Security
Cybersecurity is the practice of safeguarding computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems and networks from malicious attacks. A few points to consider are
(1) Learn how to create strong complex passwords and two-factor authentication;
(2) Learn how to keep passwords safe;
(3) Learn to detect spams and scams;
(4) Learn how to manage phishing;
(5) Learn how to enhance mobile/gadget security.
(g) Digital Empathy
Digital empathy is the use of the core principles of empathy, compassion, cognition and emotion in designing or using technology to enhance user experience. A few points to consider are
(1) Stand up and speak up with courage;
(2) Understand the difference between Up-Stander vs By-Standers and act online accordingly; (3) Learn how to listen/speak with empathy online;
(4) Understand the importance of connecting with compassion.
(h) Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do or what to believe in a balanced way. A few points to consider are
(1) Think about whom to trust online;
(2) Understand online friends and related possible risks;
(3) Understand the negative effects of being violent and using inappropriate content;
(4) Learn to differentiate between true and false information.
(The author is the founder of End Now Foundation, www.endnowfoundation.org)
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