Digital citizenship for parents and children refers to the responsible use of technology. It is necessary for anyone who uses computers, the Internet, and digital devices to engage with society on any level. This is literally everyone today, including parents and children.
People have always been influenced by what others think. However, in recent years, people rely on their social media conversations to shape those opinions.
Parents and children need to learn the basics of digital citizenship which include several parts such as:
- How the Internet works
- Understanding user data
- Digital footprint
- Understanding the digital divide
- Digital well-being
- Online safety
When it comes to empathy on the internet; it is impossible to hear someone’s vocal tone, or see their facial expressions. What this means is that it is incredibly easy for Internet users to harsh judgments or comments online.
How Online Life Affects Offline
So recently, Tiktok and K-Pop people allegedly sabotaged Donald Trump’s Oklahoma rally. This is one of the many recent examples of how online connected activities can transform offline events. In this case in-person activities, rallies or public gatherings. For parents, this is an example of the conversation that needs to be having with respect to digital citizenship. [Read more here]
According to the results of recent research, the anonymity of social media platforms has an effect on online behaviour.
“Social media platforms that offer less anonymity may create more civil conversations between users”. Gi Yun, University of Nevada.
Lockdown Effect on Digital Behaviour
The lockdown during the pandemic has led to a huge increase in online consumption. Families are spending more hours online as they stay safe at home. When it comes to online safety, increased online usage also means a greater risk for cyberbullying and other inappropriate content. It is more critical than ever to ensure that digital citizenship is a priority.
A study by UNICEF found that cyberbullying affects 70% of the youth around the world. Children may feel embarrassed to open up about it to their parents. It is important that parents and adult figures are aware of the signs of being bullied online. [Read: How to raise Digital Savvy children]
Digital well-being for the Family
When it comes to digital citizenship, parents must have regular conversations with their children about appropriate online behaviour. In addition, parents need to set screen time limits and discuss what the steps are if something inappropriate does happen.