Due to the stay-at-home order from the pandemic of recent months, millions of children and teens around the world became “digital citizens”. Remote learning quickly taught them how to Zoom, take videos and pictures of their homework, use apps and email, and connect with friends online through social media platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram. The digital world is a fabulous way to stay connected and share ideas, thoughts, and photos; but it can take a turn to the darker side pretty quickly. Kids (and adults are not exempt from this either) may feel braver and bolder to speak up (in a negative manner), air their issues with others, bully or ridicule because they are safely tucked away at home.

A few incidents like this happened at my son’s high school and in response to them, the school issued an email on how students can demonstrate responsible digital citizenship. While this information was geared towards teens, I found that it can be applicable to anyone of any age. Whether you are posting on behalf of your business or on your personal accounts, take a moment to think about what you are going to post so it doesn’t hurt or offend others, or come back to haunt you.

  • Use kind words and images
  • Only posting respectful and appropriate pictures of yourself (think what would you want a future employer or college to see?)
  • Respect others’ cultures, opinions, and viewpoints
  • Report any inappropriate and/or hurtful conduct to your teacher(s), administration, or through StopIt
  • Always THINK before posting (is it True, is it Helpful, is it Inspiring, is it Necessary, is it Kind?)