Teen Digital Life

Digital Life

Let’s be honest, connecting & interacting online is fun, fulfilling, and can provide us with information we want to know at the click of a button. But with all the benefits, it’s important that we don’t fall into negative habits & interactions when using digital media. Explore below to learn about the art of good digital citizenship, the good & dark sides of the internet, and how to navigate your digital world safely.

Obsessed with Digital Life?
Online Platinum Rules

Online Platinum Rules

Written by Jo Langford, M.A.

Below are some platinum rules for being online that revolve around safety and protection — of yourself, your self-esteem, your reputation, your privacy, and your heart. Read below to learn some important tips and tools to engage responsibly online.

Social Media:
  • Do not let other people’s opinions begin to weigh more than your own. Most comments have more to do with the commenter than your content.
  • Unfriend/unfollow/block those who make you uncomfortable, and don’t waste time trying to argue with others who engage in digital drama, negative posts, or hate speech.
  • Block and report are helpful tools, use them!
  • Be a value-add on the internet, rather than contributing to the noise and negativity.
  • Think before you post and consider your intentions. What we put online doesn’t go away. It stays with us and can leave a lasting image of who we are — even if we don’t see ourselves that way anymore. Create a positive digital footprint that represents the “real” you!
  • Obtain consent before posting or sharing any images or information about someone else.
Screen Time:
  • Balance your online life with real-time, positive human contact, socially responsible and age-appropriate activities, relationships, and physical exercise.
  • Develop good “unplugging (disconnecting) muscles.”  Try the Take Control Toolkit, courtesy of the Center for Humane Technology.
  • Keep your privacy settings ON and follow the safety guides and terms of service for each platform/app/console/site you use.
  • Actual human beings read/hear what you say, and your online subscription does not give you free reign to be cruel or rude to them.
  • Good sportspersonship rules extend to the virtual world as well: no hate speech, phobic remarks, misogyny, rape “jokes,” or threats.
  • The gamerverse can be particularly toxic for female-identified people — if you are one, keep your antennae tuned and block and report accordingly. If you are not female-identified, shut it down when you see it, and work to not make it worse.