In light of the events currently taking place in our world, the significance of digital identity and digital citizenship has become more apparent and significant to me. Here in Canada, the protests taking place over public health measures have divided people. Meanwhile, the threats and acts of war taking place right now in Eastern Europe are beyond terrifying to me. There is so much information being shared online about these events – people are posting, sharing, liking, clicking and consuming the information. I can’t help but wonder how these acts are shaping each of our identities online and how that may impact our futures. Will people be held accountable for the information they share, post and even consume? Will their families be impacted by their online decisions?
I have never been the type to post much of anything online. In fact, this blog is about as far as I have gone in actually posting and sharing information online. I simply do not want to share any of my political views publically, nor do I want any other posts or messages to be viewed politically by anyone online (friends, family, colleagues and those in my community). I have always been very content with not sharing online.
In addition, my introverted nature has made me disinterested in being on social media. I do not want, need or crave attention from others online. It simply does not fill my needs bucket. I do like to read and watch content online, but I do not pour my time and energy into posting or spending copious amounts of time scrolling online, looking at what other people are doing. I much prefer reading and spending time with my family and friends.
During this course, I have really been struggling to post and engage on Twitter and Instagram. I think it is because I struggle with the idea of having my views and opinions “out-there.” I think of the impact that I am having on my students and their families by not being present online. Does it matter to them? What example am I setting by being offline?
Furthermore, in general, access to media has provided children with so much information and content from an early age. My toddler has just clued in to the notion that my phone holds the power to connect with Grandma and Grandpa. He knows that phones play music and videos. He sees people pull out their phones to take pictures and videos and enjoys watching the recordings of himself. He is learning through new skills through technology, but he is also learning about technology. In the Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools document, Sir Ken Robinson is quoted saying that “children are living in the most stimulating period in the history of the earth” (p.3). Digital learning experiences are taking place in many places and by many people at any given time, although not all people have access to technology and there is a digital divide.
Building digital citizenship teaching into my practice is important because our children (and my own) need to become critical users of technology. I feel a responsibility to teach them the skills to be safe and responsible online, because I know not all of my students are not being taught these skills at home. Digital access and digital identity is “real life” for many people today, and we need to be teaching this from an early age.
2 thoughts on “Striving to Critically Shape our Digital Identities”
Great post. I’m not sure that many families really care if we are actively present online. I mean, some are out there searching up teachers and trying to get information on them, but in many places, I don’t think that many notice your absence online. I think people like to catch people doing something or have said or posted something wrong and use it against them, but again like many people talked about, these are trolls. I think you can be present on Twitter without posting much. You can like something about what someone has said about the course, or a great resource, without giving away any of your political views. I think you need to do what you feel comfortable with.
Being an introvert myself I could totally relate and understand your struggle of posting something on social media… Through this course, I have been able to push myself to be active on social media…
Also, today’s world demands technological tools and due to this teaching digital literacy to our kids has become our responsibility. I agree with your thought that we should start teaching them at an early age…