Has the thought that you are(or should be) a citizen online ever crossed your mind? If not, it should. Being an “online citizen” is know as digital citizenship. This means that you are respectful and kind online, and that you use it for good and not bad. For example, if there is a person sending emails with mean and/or negative things that aren’t exactly meant for people to feel better after reading, they’re not a very good digital citizen. But let’s say there’s another person who is always very helpful and kind on and off the internet and they send out emails or texts saying “you will do great on your test!” or “Thanks for your help today in science. I understand the work now!’ that is an example of a good digital citizen. So if you have a Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking account, make sure you think twice about what you’re putting out there, because it may not be as nice or funny as it seems.
Digital citizenship isn’t just about being positive and kind to others online, but it’s also making the right decision online. It’s just like being off the internet and in your life. When your parents get their taxes they don’t just toss them aside and say, “Oh, those aren’t important. I don’t have to pay them. Just let them turn out the electricity.” No! They wouldn’t do that because they know that it’s wrong. That’s being a bad citizen, so they pay their taxes and bills, or there will be consequenses. Like I mentioned before, it’s just like being online. If you don’t make the right decisions, like going onto someone’s account and posting false or private information, it won’t be such a pretty sight. You will have to face the consequenses, and depending on how bad what you did was, the police may even get involved.
So by now I hope you’ve realized that you need to be a digital citizen, and you should have a pretty good idea of what it is.