In the beginning…
When I started this class, I was not sure what to think about the term “digital citizenship.” It seemed intangible and difficult to conceptualize. Although I’m not sure I currently have a solid grasp on it, my understanding is decidedly firmer.
What I have come to realize about digital citizenship is that it is closely tied with both my children’s generation and with globalization. I didn’t see my first computer until I was in middle school, and didn’t get a chance to actively use one until I was in high school, but they have lived with computers their entire lives. Computers and the digital world are parts of their self-narrative in a way they will probably never be with mine.
What this means is that my children can conceptualize a digital space in the same way I conceptualize a physical one. For them there is no distinction between “citizenship” and “digital citizenship”; they are one in the same.
Digital citizenship is aligned with globalization because we are increasingly becoming a global community. Sure, there are people in my generation and older who want to hold onto old ties of city, state, and country, but those who are coming after me see things in a different light. It is not amazing to them to be able to share ideas with someone 10,000 miles away, because technology makes such things possible.
This growing awareness of others will naturally lead us to a growing understanding of our inter-connectivity. My hope is that this happens sooner rather than later, but whatever comes to pass, I am starting to see global citizenship as the shape our future will take. Digital citizenship is just one aspect of that.
Going forward, this class has made me understand that digital citizenship is a responsibility we all share, whether we want it or not. I want my children to live in a fruitful and peaceful world. The chances of that happening are greatly increased if I work now to actively cultivate good digital citizenship practices in those around me.
The pressure to carry out this responsibility is tremendous, because we are on a new frontier, a shifting point in human life if you will. This is like the wild west, the depths of the ocean, or deep space, the power is in our hands to craft a new future, on a new frontier, but we have to be brave enough to do it competently.