Nothing but RESPECT

Responsible digital citizenship has the definition of being responsible with using modern technology and this relates to many aspects like, being safe with private information, being careful with what you share and not to trust everything you read online. In the paragraphs below I try to show that being a responsible digital citizen relates more to how you conduct yourself on social media platforms and how you can improve this conduct.

The reason for the amount of hate speech and destructive comments on social platforms is because it is a lot easier to say something while hiding behind a screen than saying it to someone’s face. While commenting on something online, we forget about the repercussions that it might have, on ourselves and on other people. Because it is so easy to throw insults and criticize, it usually has a greater negative impact than a face to face encounter. Thus it is a good idea to not say something on social platforms in the heat of the moment, but rather wait till you are in a better state of mind. So if you don’t have the courage to say it to someone’s face, rather stay away from social media.

Why do we troll? Too many times I have come across social media posts that are truly a genuine expression of the poster’s views, but in the discussion of the post (which usually takes place in the comment section) the plot is completely lost with individuals not at all contributing to the actual discussion. It is then that I wonder, why do they comment at all? Personally I feel that when a serious point is discussed on a social platform, it is the responsibility of the reader to decide if he can constructively add value to the discussion. If not, those comments are firstly, only degrading the quality of the discussion at hand and secondly, it usually only leads to a more heated discussion that, as mentioned above, has negative repercussions.

As much as social media has helped citizens to make their voices heard, this privilege is constantly misused and has led to hate speech, racism, sexism and general verbal abuse. We have to realize that not all people have the same beliefs, heritage, opinions and religious views. It is thus important to remain respectful and considerate when interacting with people on social platforms.

The question being asked is “What does it mean to be a responsible digital citizen”, but looking at the discussion above, it is obvious that a responsible digital citizen is nothing other than an individual who knows how to use their right to freedom of speech and respect others.

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