Suspicious Minds

First of all, I’m all for privacy and using your brain as you navigate the digital landscape.  But I’m also for using your brain as you navigate the physical landscape. As Tricia noted in her post last week:

This is part of the reason I think the phrase ‘digital citizenship’ is erroneous.  Citizenship is citizenship.

I think its time we step back and look at this with some clarity. So often we are quick to blindly follow statistics, or worse, basically ignore them. Like it or not, the reality of our times is that the digital world is taking on an ever growing percentage of our interactions.

Photo Credit: Ksayer1 via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Ksayer1 via Compfight cc

Just look at the numbers from the USPS for the last 10 years.  There’s a reason those numbers are steadily declining and it isn’t more front porch sittin’.

Our communication is becoming more and more reliant on emails and social media. Like or not, that’s where today’s kids are spending their time too.  So let’s stop the freaking out and get real. We aren’t going to win the battle of keeping kids off the internet or social media, so we need to teach them life skills, not just digital skills.  I cringed a bit as I read this article seemingly mourning the fall of Michael Phelps because of one picture.  There were choices that led up to that picture being taken.  Choices that had nothing to do with digital citizenship or leaked pictures.

As a professional you have decisions to make.  We live in a world that is constantly online, well most of it, and that should shape the way we think.  Is it worth it to be out partying with a bunch of people you don’t know, or maybe do know, who are constantly posting to the internet.  Its a decision you have to make.

That’s where I think the conversation needs to remain with our students.  Its about the decisions you make. Think about possible outcomes and make a choice. Make those regardless of if it is while you are walking through the mall or Snap Chatting with your friends.  Its not as big and scary world as some would like for us to believe.  In fact there’s a lot of positivity to getting out there and exploring it.

Photo Credit: D.Robertus via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: D.Robertus via Compfight cc

Get to know the facts and let reality settle your suspicious mind.  You can have fun, you can share some pictures and the story of your life’s adventures.  You just have to make sure you’re doing it with your thinking cap on.