This week I have been examining the importance of digital citizenship. I began first by looking at citizenship and examining what is meant by this. A citizen is defined as a person who has certain membership and with that comes rights and responsibilities. Linking this to the term digital citizenship Ribble (2014) states that it is a concept that explains what technology users should know to use technology safely and in an appropriate manner. It is therefore clear that as a citizen of the digital world we as individuals need to be aware of our rights and responsibilities online and also need to practice digital citizenship by using certain relevant skills in order to participate correctly online. There are nine elements of digital citizenship, all of which are important and should be known by all digital users however I have chosen to focus on one element of the nine, digital etiquette.
Digital etiquette is a set of rules which everyone online should be aware of and follow online in order to treat people well online. It is important that individuals consider others when online and think about their image and the appropriate online conduct. It is however considered a very crucial problem according to Ribble (2014) due to the fact that people aren’t learning digital etiquette and therefore aren’t able to practice it online. A survey by Digiteen (2014) found that 40% of teenagers surveyed hadn’t been taught about digital etiquette and 60% said they had learnt a small amount. The same survey also found that 15% of those surveyed had been offended once or twice by something which they had read or received online whereas 85% stated that they had been offended by a post or email more than three times. This information clearly states that there should be more education of digital etiquette and digital citizenship in general in order to prevent these issues as well as the problem of cyber bullying. Personally I would have to have included myself in the sections of never having been taught about digital etiquette specifically however I was briefly made aware of the issues associated with digital etiquette in relation to cyber bullying while in school.
It should also be raised that digital etiquette can also affect employment with more and more employers looking online to view applicants. Jobvite 2012 shows this by highlighting that 92% of employers filtered candidates through online searches. Therefore more attention should be paid in order to help teenagers, students and adults of all ages manage their digital footprint and their etiquette online.
When looking at Curriculum for Excellence, Scotland’s curriculum, one of the four capacities mentioned is the aim to create responsible citizens. This should include digital citizenship as well in order for children, young people and adults to engage in the digital society in a safe and appropriate way. Personally when I post online, respond to an email or even a text message I always think about what it is I am trying to say and ensure that the receiver couldn’t read into what is written or typed in any other way than what is intended. This is partly due to the fact that I and many others I know have been on the receiving end of posts which I have been unsure of how to take. I therefore think that it is important that digital citizenship as a whole is taught in education and is encouraged by parents.
Digiteen. (2014). digiteen – Digital Etiquette, Retrieved 16th November 2014 from
Ribble, M. (2014). Nine Elements. digitalcitizenship. Retrieved 11th November 2014, from http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html
Schawbel, D. (2012). How Recruiters Use Social Networks to Make HiringDecisions Now. Retrieved 3rd January 2015, from http://business.time.com/2012/07/09/how-recruiters-use-social-networks-to-make-hiring-decisions-now/
Scottish Government. (2004). A Curriculum for Excellence the Curriculum Review Group. The Scottish Executive. Retrieved 15th November 2014, from