Digital Citizenship

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What does it mean to be a good digital citizen?

Fundamentally, being a good digital citizen reminds us that our digital footprint, or the sum total of information we post and share on the internet, can follow us throughout our lifetime. Photos of ourselves, our family, our property, an editorial posted online, comments on YouTube, even answering an innocent survey on social media, all this information has the power to inform and impact our lives in ways that we may never consider.  Digital citizenship encompasses obvious issues like protecting personal privacy, but also extends to cyberbullying and being kind and conscientious about our language in public online forums. The American Library Association has long been educating librarians and the general public about information sharing and digital literacy. They offer this useful poster and bookmark that list 10 suggestions on being a good digital citizen:

  1. Think about first impressions: how are you representing yourself online? Remember that employers, colleges, friends, and family can see what you post. What person do you want to be?
  2. Personal details, like your address, should be kept private. Use privacy settings to control what people see.
  3. Don’t bully. Online bullying hurts everybody and leaves emotional scars. Apologies don’t always fix hurt feelings.
  4. Check information for accuracy, spelling, and grammar before posting online.
  5. Give credit where credit is due. Cite your sources when you repost online.
  6. Trust others online as you wish to be trusted. If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it online.
  7. Everything you do online leaves a digital footprint that stays around for a long time.
  8. Don’t be a troll. Don’t start or feed arguments online.
  9. Let a trusted adult know right away if someone is bothering you online.
  10. Remember to take time to unplug and connect with people face to face.

Quoted from the ALA Digital Citizenship poster

Libraries and the Internet Toolkit




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