On Whose Terms Are We (Digital) Citizens? #MyDigCiz #DigCiz


This post is part of #DigCiz, a conversation about Digital Citizenship. Check out http://digciz.org/ for more. This post is cross-posted there as well.

flickr photo shared by ** RCB ** under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

When we practice digital citizenship or foster it in our students, how do we define it? On whose terms do we encourage it?

When we enact our digital citizenship on Twitter, we are complying to a 140 character limit – or stretching it, or challenging it, depending how you use it. But we are sound-biting our expression.

When we enact our digital citizenship in a particular language, what does this mean?

As an academic, what does it mean that I express my anger at injustice in a poem (conveniently entitled “I’m Not Angry at You”; conveniently widely shared by the people I am NOT angry at, and not, of course, the ones I AM angry at). What does it mean to express ourselves that way instead of more formally, more academically? What does it mean to express ourselves that way instead of in more concrete ways, more embodied ways, like going out into the street and helping someone, like actually fundraising to help others, like actually welcoming someone into our own homes? What does it mean that I can express myself about international events online but am cautious to do so about local ones?

When we think about promoting a digital literacy of criticality, do we also remember the need to foster empathy? Do we recognize that sometimes, in our zeal to help students question, we may also be hampering their capacity to truly listen to the “other” with an open mind? Do we recognize the limits of promoting empathy digitally, and do we explicitly work to help ourselves and others bring that back into our daily, embodied lives? Do we recognize, deep in our heart and mind and gut, that rationality is not necessarily the highest value, and that sometimes, morality needs to override it?

Little examples that got me going:

So what is your digital citizenship? Where are examples of people enacting their digital citizenship that you admire? What are examples of your own digital citizenship that you wish you would do more of? But also – what would your ideal digital citizenship look like? Or in what ways is your digital citizenship incomplete , imperfect, flawed?

Write it on paper, do something at work, create a gif, write a poem, do whatever you think is right, express yourself in your own way, listen to someone you haven’t truly listened to before..talk to someone you wouldn’t normally have talked to… question something, cry with someone,  live or imagine or dream… and if you’re comfortable with sharing, share it as a comment here or as a tweet to #MyDigCiz #DigCiz this week. Or respond to someone else’s.

2 thoughts on “On Whose Terms Are We (Digital) Citizens? #MyDigCiz #DigCiz

  1. Your comment about the New York Times reminds me of a time when I was in Jordan during Israel’s war on Gaza. How people in the US believed that because their news papers / journalists were “free” to say what they wanted that meant that the views / news they were receiving was unbiased. I saw a completely different perspective and had people leave small groups that I was part of because I was sharing what I was seeing – which wasn’t the same as what the US newspapers were reporting.

    OK that was somewhat off topic – but really is it? I found the jumping on the Pokeman Go is a privacy issue bandwagon a challenge – in part because I could tell very quickly that the article that set it all off was full of generalities and incorrect assumptions – but the hype happened – and that is an example of an area where we need a little more critical digital citizenship – cause the same people who challenge the messages from other perspectives didn’t challenge the technical correctness of the message …

    I will need to reflect more on what #myDigCiz is …

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