Being a digital citizen is a fact of life these days. Everyone must be a well-behaved digital citizen looking to help others. Think of it like the Girl / Boy Scouts but online. That’s basically what this visual from Common Sense Media did when they detailed the five things all digital citizens should do. From respecting others to protecting private information, there are quite a few important responsibilities for everyone online.
First off, let’s take a quick look at what the all-knowing all-powerful Wikipedia says about the topic:
People characterizing themselves as digital citizens often use IT extensively, creating blogs, using social networks, and participating in web journalism sites. Although digital citizenship potentially begins when any child, teen, and/or adult signs up for an email address, posts pictures online, uses e-commerce to buy merchandise online, and/or participates in any electronic function that is B2C or B2B, the process of becoming a digital citizen goes beyond simple Internet activity. In the framework of T.H. Marshall’s perspective on citizenship’s three traditions (liberalism, republicanism, and ascriptive hierarchy), digital citizenry can occur alongside the promotion of equal economic opportunity, as well as increased political participation and civic duty. Digital citizenship eliminates exclusionary elements of ascriptive hierarchy in that the Internet does not exclude those who wish to participate in its realm based on race, religion, or class – elements previously used to exclude people from even becoming traditional citizens.
Personally, I don’t think the definition needs to be limited to people who ‘use IT extensively’ (whatever that means – are they swapping out servers and using desktops as stepping stools or something?) or necessarily participate in web journalism sites (huh?!). So, take this crowdsourced definition for what it’s worth. It is still at least a bit useful and gets you thinking so I guess that’s good.
These five are just the tip of the iceberg though. What are some other traits and actions that all digital citizens should do and embody?