A Guide to Being an Accountable Digital Citizen

digital 'citizen'

Thanks to major technological advances, we are leaps and bounds ahead of where we were 20 years ago. If you’re old enough, you’ll remember how the invention of cellphones dramatically changed the ease of everyday life and made communication far less of a hassle. 

Nowadays, we live in a digital world. Our smartphones allow us to call, text, email, shop, network (the list goes on and on …) all at the tips of our fingers. And, as amazing as smartphones have been in making our lives significantly easier, they have some serious drawbacks. 

Here’s a humble guide to being an accountable digital citizen.

1. Every time you click into pretty much any app on your phone, you’re sharing data. Apps need to make money, and often this happens at the expense of personal information you share. It may seem tedious, but read through your apps’ “Terms and Conditions.”

You may be surprised to learn how much information you are handing over on a daily basis. Guard your data, and be mindful of what you are agreeing to by asking yourself this: “is the benefit of this app greater than my personal information?” If the answer is no, then you may have some apps to delete.

2. I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you don’t have to take a selfie every time you do something. In fact, in line with point #1, pretty much anything you share online will live for eternity. What’s worse? Once you post it, you may lose ownership rights to it. 

3. Be mindful of when you’re using your phone. Sure, your phone is a tool that can make your life easier, but it shouldn’t endanger you. For example, don’t text and drive. In 2019, over 3,000 people were killed by car accidents related to texting while driving. No text message, Instagram story, or email is worth harming you or someone else.

4. Phones are great, but you know what’s even better? Living in the moment. Try not to get so entrenched in your phone that you miss all the wonderful moments happening right in front of you. 

5. Last but certainly not least. Give yourself the 10-year test. Whenever you desire to post something, ask yourself how you will feel about seeing “said post” in 10 years. If you think it may not age well or be offensive in any way, shape, or form—don’t post it. 

Which point above is most important to you? Tweet @StarterNoise to let us know. 

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