Technology brings people who have never been together, together like never before. Social media allows for us to connect in some of the most personal ways in a very impersonal manner. By removing the human element of face to face communication and instead engaging with others through a keyboard and screen; it can be easy to lose sight of how your words may impact others. I have also noticed people are much more willing to post about controversial issues online than the would to bring those topics up in a face to face discussion. For example, I have heard it said to never discuss religion or politics, yet these two topics are discussed quite often on social media. Since the topics are controversial, the online discussions can get pretty heated. I have been attacked by people I have never met for sharing my opinions publically or on a mutual friend’s post. Therefore I learned to refrain from posting my true thoughts and feelings due to backlash I received in the past. The digital community can be a very brutal place to interact, and like any community has good and bad citizens. When it comes to being a digital citizen, three of the most exemplary character traits one can embody are to respect others, think before you post, and use your powers for good.
Even though you will likely disagree with someone at one time or another, you can do so in a respectful manner. By being respectful you exhibit the characteristic of an upstanding digital citizen, and your behavior encourages others to do the same. Being respectful means you also think before you post. Consider your audience and those who may read your post, and be sensitive to how others may feel. Instead of posting in anger, take some time to calm down so you don’t post something you’ll later regret. Finally use your powers for good. Technology is a tool that can be used for good or evil. While it may be tempting to air your dirty laundry or lash out at someone in anger, posting positive and encouraging things can lift up others and reflects well on you.