3. Taking Responsibility for Your Digital Footprint

Date: September 18, 2020

“With great power comes great responsibility.” from Spider-Man

Getting your parent’s permission to have a phone, and create your social media profiles, no doubt took some serious negotiations which included promises to act responsibly and be accountable. Be reminded of this commitment at all times, not only to honor what you promised your parents but because although the digital world allows you to connect, learn, engage, have fun and share, it also has risks and if not properly and responsibly managed, has the potential to cause real problems, now and in the future.

Taking responsibility not only for what you post but also for how you incorporate social media into your life. According to a recent report, teenagers spend just under seven and a half hours per day using screens, and distance learning may even see this number increase. You must make time for personal face-to-face interactions and activities to keep a balanced life. Be discerning about how you use your screen time, avoid binge-watching and getting distracted by always-open newsfeeds and chats.

The rules of engagement online are much the same as life before social media and can be summed up by three Rs: reputation, respect and responsibility. So next time your parent or teacher asks to have a chat about your Digital Citizenship, don’t roll your eyes and humor them, roll up a chair and have an open conversation, you may just learn something.

Read the other articles in this series: Three ways to unlock your superpowers online

1. Managing Your Reputation Online

2. Creating, Sharing and Engaging Online in a Respectful Way