Do you consider yourself a Digital Citizen (also called an iCitizen)?
Have you ever read anything online? Posted a photo, a quip, an opinion? Commented on someone else’s post? This is our digital community. This is our digital world.
The internet is now where most of us get our news, it’s where we research and get information. We communicate with friends and family, we share political views, we post the dumbest and funniest videos we find. We share love, joy, bravery, tragedy, depression, criticism, and triumph. Our personal and professional lives are intermixed all over the internet. For example, if you apply for a job, they will google your name.
People have lost jobs as a result of their online communications. A simple online search can provide you with numerous examples of the inappropriate things people have posted that got them fired (watch out for content if you do!). On the other hand, people have done seriously thoughtful and kind posts and many find social media to positively influence their lives.
At a glance, what kind of Digital Citizen are you? Think about what you have posted online or how you have contributed. Go search through your profiles and your history.
Are you kind, helpful, funny, mean, sarcastic, judgmental, selfish, aware, loving, or genuine? How are you making this Digital World better? What do your online comments say about you?
Some undergraduate students at the University of Saint Joseph created an iConstitution for iCitizens. It’s great to see what these students think your responsibilities should be online. We love students sharing their work online!
What does the “i” mean?
Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, said the “i” in “iPod” stands for internet, individual, instruct, inform, inspire. If we borrow his definition it gives more meaning to the iConstitution and the responsibilities of being an iCitizen.
What is an iCitizen?
Defining iCitizenship, the students from USJ said, “An iCitizen is a citizen of the world. An iCitizen humanizes the person next to them along with the person across the screen. An iCitizen promotes consciousness and empathy. There is always room to grow, connections to forge, communities beyond your backyard to contribute to, and people to benefit from. We are members of the online world, even though there are no rules, regulations, or laws, we must treat others the way we want to be treated.”
Utah lawmakers passed legislation known as House Bill 213 (HB213) which defines Digital Citizenship as “the norms of appropriate, responsible, and healthy behavior related to technology use, including digital literacy, ethics, etiquette, and security.”
We find it vital to point out that being a good citizen online is much more than avoiding the harms of technology (e.g. internet safety). Technology can enhance and magnify the ability of youth and adults to contribute to and serve in the community and even in the world.
We can create, collaborate, communicate, and contribute.
You get to choose today who you want to be online and how you will contribute to and through this digital world. It is important to be the same person offline and online. What kind of iCitizen will you be?