This week I watched the Fifth Estate’s documentary on The Sextortion of Amanda Todd. This video is not only sad to hear about the struggles that Amanda and her family went through, but it is also unfortunate to hear that there are people in this world that take advantage of vulnerable girls such as Amanda Todd. I found this video interesting and it bring up the topic of digital citizenship.
When I think about being a digital citizen, I think about the way in which you present yourself or create and image of yourself online. I know that many people have a positive image online where they are able to openly express themselves in a way that is safe and respectful for themselves and other. On the other hand, there is a growing population that believes that the internet is a place where you can be whoever you want to be with little to no consequences. I know that is important to be mindful about what you post online. I am a big fan of the idea that when you post something online, you should ask yourself, “Is this something that I would be okay with anyone in the world seeing.” By asking yourself this, I think you will be more aware of what you are putting online and therefore assuring that it is appropriate.
Learning about what it means to be a digital citizen is important in this era as we are constantly surrounded by social media and the internet. Clearly the age that children are exposed to the internet is rapidly decreasing. This early exposure brings forth new challenges as parents and teachers to inform children of the risks and consequences of using the internet and social media improperly. In my mind, it should be a mandatory part of the curriculum that children must learn about the proper ways to act and develop their image online.
As it is sad that incidences such as Amanda Todd’s story occur, I think that an early exposed and frequently reinforced education on the digital world would greatly benefit the generations of tomorrow as we must do out best to keep children safe and aware of the world we live in.
Check out The Sextortion of Amanda Todd Documentary on the Fifth Estates website linked here.