How Does Digital Citizenship Look Like?
Our life is a blend of both online and offline lives with massive overlap between them. Online, there are an endless range of apps, notifications and content vying for our attention. Versus, the unending list of chores that beckon from all directions in the real world. The result, we are developing habits of mindless consumption.
There is no end to the internet, unless we physically take ourselves off of it. And if we’re not intentional about our device time, we are left with very little time to foster deep, meaningful relationships. The space for our private thoughts has also become scarce to non-existent.
Children must know that although our love for them is limitless, it also comes with some rules. One of the best family time fun activities can be to sit down together and involve the kids in writing a family phone contract. Everyone must play by the same rule book after all.
It is important for us to remember as parents and adults that our digital devices can come with clear and consistent boundaries and rules. It is OK to have tech free zones in the house, so we feel like we have a better handle on our devices. It is all about digital citizenship and doing the right thing with our device etiquette.
Kids have so many questions, why should I not keep my phone near me? What will happen if I use my phone too much?” Parents cannot simply say, “Do as we say, and not as we do?” We just can’t get away with that.
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All these questions must be answered while explaining the impact of too much of consumption, the effects of radiation on the body and the disruptive effects of tech on melatonin (our sleep hormone) and our sleep.
We must help children understand that because the internet never ends, we’ve to put boundaries on it. We must make one another in the house accountable for more outdoor time, and find out more offline activities to involve ourselves in. We must create the environment around us so that it decreases temptations to reach out to our devices often. Out of sight is truly out of mind when it comes to our technology.
Working parents are struggling to not be on the computer all the time. So, we end up either being too lax or overtly controlling with children’s tech access. But it helps to encourage them to take tech breaks as rewards. Ask them often, why consume, when we can use our unlimited creativity and imagination to create for the world to see.
The average American picks up their phone atleast 151 times a day. So, it is important for parents to also resist the urge to check their phones for emails or news all the time. Once you’ve promised yourself to wind down, and connect with family, it is crucial to keep up with your end of the bargain. After all, we must model the behavior we want to see in our children.
Write Your Family’s Phone Contract:
Find out a sample from HERE.
California to Hold Social Media Responsible for Harm to Children:
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About The Article Author:
I see myself as an advocate for bringing social, emotional and character development to families, schools and communities. I never want to let this idea out of my sight – Our children are not just GPAs. I’m a Writer and a Certified Master Coach in NLP and CBT. Until 2017, I was also a Big Data Scientist. In December of 2044, I hope to win the Nobel. Namasté.
Write to me or call me. Tell me what support from me looks like.
Program Director & Essential Life Skills Coach for Kids and Busy Parents
The Digital Literacy Project: Disrupting humanity’s technology addiction habits one truth at a time.
Truth About Technology – A Digital Literacy Project
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