Are you a digital citizen?
Are you a digital native, digital immigrant, or a digital citizen?
If you are confused about your own role in the digital world, take a moment to reflect on these labels.
You are or you are not a digital native, and you are or you are not a digital immigrant. The digital immigrant was not born with smart phone in hand. He or she may remember how computers used punch cards and reel-to-reel cellophane tape. (Don’t get big ideas. I saw it in a movie.)
The digital native came into a world of computers, smart-phones, and tablets. Digital natives are millennials and subsequent generations. Even though they were born into a digital age, they still have to learn how to navigate in a digital age. As Alice Keeler points out, they may not have upper hand when we count computer and internet savvy. http://youtu.be/xi5TmASOXNc
So where is the digital citizen? I suggest we think of an analogy from good ole’ social philosophy. Two social philosophers, John Locke and Thomas Hobbes, discussed the notion that we are born into a state of nature. We surrender our standing when we choose to become part of a social contract. Another social contract theorist, Jean Jacques Rousseau, says, “Each of us puts in common his person and his whole power under the supreme direction of the general will; and in return we receive every member as an indivisible part of the whole.”
To put it simply, a digital citizen is someone who has voluntarily chosen to join in a social contract by taking the digital citizen’s pledge. Here’s how Edudemic states it:
The Digital Citizen Pledge
Digital citizens pledge to…
- Communicate responsibly and kindly with one another
- Protect our own and others’ private information online
- Stand up to cyberbullying
- Respect each other’s ideas and opinions
- Give proper credit when we use others’ work.
- Fill in your own!
You are or your are not a digital native. That is a given. You choose to be a digital citizen.