BRAND: Embrace the Positive
TWEET: Become a curator of your digital life. Edit. Overshadow the junk. But when you do something worth sharing – magnify it!
(Adapted from Becoming Minimalists )
For some, the Internet appears to be a world full of dangers, threats, and negativity that can make many want to run away in fear. For others, the Internet appears to be just the opposite, a joyful world of sharing, socializing, and getting noticed. The concept of digital citizenship brings balance to these two opposing views.
Yes, there are dangers on the web but if we are aware of them, take necessary precautions, and focus on the positive, the negatives can be outweighed. And yes, it is a delightful world of sharing and connecting but we must be aware of what and how we share, think of the audience, and share with kindness and filters. It comes down to educating ourselves, and others, how to embrace the positive.
“You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.” —Tom Wilson
Throughout my study of Digital Citizenship one recurring theme kept popping out at me: EMBRACE THE POSITIVE. Character Education? Be aware of your potential audience, and put your best foot forward for all to see, rather than participate in fear of who is viewing your online activity. Digital Footprint? Emphasize the good and move on from the bad. Overshadow your mistakes with positive behaviors, actions, and accomplishments. Cyberbullying? Focus on kindness and responsibility to stop the bully, and to help the target. Teach the masses to use positive peer influence to deal with bullying behavior. Media Literacy? Keep a discerning eye when consuming media, identify what techniques have a positive effect on you and use those to create your own effective message. Even Digital Citizenship Tools are designed to be used with positive practice and education. The Digitial Driver’s License and Digital Passport Programs give students scenarios to practice appropriate responses, and teachers opportunities to facilitate discussions about the grey areas of the web. Mike Ribble’s REPS emphasize practice, testing, progression, and repetition at age appropriate levels on navigating our digital world. Commonsense Media offers endless resources for parents, teachers, and kids, where they rate, educate and advocate trustworthy information so kids and families can thrive in a world of media and technology, positively.
Educate and focus on the positive. When raising toddlers, it is suggested to tell the child what they can do instead of what they can’t. Giving them options of acceptable behaviors leads to less tantrums and head butting. Education classes promote using positives to create rules because ‘Please walk’ will be better received than ‘No running’. Life philosophies preach you get back what you put out in the universe, so put forth positive thoughts. Even Willie Nelson is quoted as saying “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones you’ll start having positive results.” From toddler hood to adolescence up through adulthood the message is the same: Embrace and focus on the positive. This quote from Becoming Minimalists Facebook page fits the embodiment of digital citizenship perfectly.
“Become a curator of life. Edit. Leave out the junk. But when you find some thing worth keeping – treasure it!”
The Internet, with all it’s potential and imperils, requires us to curate, shape, and guide it in a responsible, educated, and positive manner.
PRESENTATION: Digital Citizenship Prezi