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Digital Citizenship: Kidpower Shorts - Episode 2

Kidpower Shorts - Episode 2: Digital Citizenship

Here is another episode of Kidpower Shorts - Episode 2 and it is on Digital Citizenship Avery takes us through some very useful strategies on how to be a good digital citizen and how to manage those who are not.

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Stand Tall: Respect and Affect
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Hi I'm Avery,

Welcome to kid power shorts.

Today we're going to be talking about an increasingly important subject digital citizenship.

Now all of us are citizens of many things. We're citizens of communities citizens of countries and citizens of the world and by using the internet we're also digital citizens. Being a good digital citizen means interacting with other people online in ways that are respectful safe and legal.

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Now good digital citizenship may sound like a no-brainer but it can be surprisingly easy to break the safety rules online. Let's look at this from a couple of different perspectives some ways people can be unkind online includes posting and sharing mean private or embarrassing words information or photographs. A lot of times these things are intended as jokes but that doesn't mean that they're not hurtful.

It's hard to gauge someone's intent online and sometimes it's hard to tell what someone means with their words when you can't hear their tone of voice.

Imagine that you were online and someone that you knew and trusted shared some information about you that you thought had been kept private. Imagine that one of your friends sent some hurtful words over text. If I were receiving these messages I would probably feel scared sad and alone. One of the best things to do when someone you know and trust has done something hurtful to you online is to get help. You can get help from someone else you know or you can talk to them directly and respectfully. Address what hurt your feelings and how to make it better.

A really important thing to remember about digital citizenship is that a lot of times when people break the safety rules they do it by accident. Most people in the world are good and they're not actually trying to hurt anyone's feelings people, often accidentally break the safety rules because they're trying to make jokes and they don't understand that they won't be heard as jokes.

If you're communicating with someone online and you think that what you're about to send could be interpreted in a hurtful way, one thing to do is to rephrase your message.

But another way people break the safety rules is by saying things and sending things when they're very angry. Now although these things may feel honest and true at the moment they're often not things that you would say to someone's face or that you would say if you were feeling calmer. Remember your feelings belong to yourself someone may have done something that hurt your feelings or made you angry or made you feel afraid. It's okay to be upset but retaliating, especially online is not helpful. When you are emotionally triggered it can be very tempting to write long angry messages to whoever has upset you. This almost always makes your problem worse not better.

You can use your awareness to notice when people are being disrespectful online either to yourself or to other people. You can practice noticing when you get upset and stopping yourself from jumping forward and making triggered actions that could be destructive. Instead take a step back and think carefully about how to address the problem. If you really feel you need to get the words out you can write them down in a notes app or a piece of paper and don't send them wait until your calmer and then revisit those words. If there's still something that is appropriate to send over text you can send them. If there's something that you realize doesn't reflect who you are or who you want to be you can delete them without ever having anyone else know they exist. If there's something that still needs to be said but that is very large complicated or full of very strong feelings this is something that's better to be addressed in person.

You can come up with your own strategies for how to manage your feelings and prevent yourself from sending angry messages.

Sometimes you might witness someone else not being a good digital citizen. This gives you the opportunity to be a safety advocate. You can be a safety advocate in a couple of ways.

If the person engaging in online bullying behavior is someone you know well, you can approach them and have a respectful conversation about why you think their behavior is not okay. If you don't feel like you're in a position where you can talk to the person about their behavior another good strategy is to redirect and change the subject.

People who have been bullied online often feel upset and alone. Approaching these people can be very helpful to them. You can send them a message or talk to them in person and say that you don't support bullying and ask what you can do to help. Remember everyone needs support in different ways and manages their feelings and their challenges in different ways. Make sure to follow the other person's guidance when supporting them instead of assuming what they need.

Sometimes people are bullied online by a massive number of people all around the world you may not be able to reach out to the person. Being bullied in this case they might be someone who lives very far away who you've never talked to or even a public figure. This doesn't mean that you're powerless. Although you can't stop it from happening everywhere you can still choose not to engage in the bullying behavior yourself and you can talk to your friends family and other people you know about why you don't think they should engage in the bullying behavior either.

Just like in the real world you can be a good digital citizen and fully engaged with all of the great things the internet has to offer.

Thank you for watching kid power shorts remember you can find more information about kid power and all of the things that we teach on the website at

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