The presence of the Internet in people’s lives can significantly impact the way they interact with other individuals and the world around them. It can also change the way they think, like the Internet, while being an inherent part of life, has different and unique rules of its own. Nine of the themes of Digital Citizenship reflect these properties and show particular ways in which people’s minds change with the help of the Internet. Today, people can use the Internet for virtually anything – they can purchase and sell goods and services, communicate and exchange information, and participate in a society that is interconnected with the real world. More importantly, every activity performed in the digital world now has the same impact as an activity performed in real life. Thus some parts of the Internet have become so inseparable from people’s existence that the Internet affects the way people think.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
For instance, many individuals who spend time online agree that the Internet has its own etiquette and rules of communication, which have to be followed in order to create and maintain a positive environment. Using the digital world can be complicated, as it requires some knowledge about its central operations. Therefore it is vital for users to learn about digital etiquette and share this experience with other people. Over the years, Internet communities have been outlining the main guidelines for people to follow. These rules usually cover communication between persons and their interaction with uploaded or shared information. Downloading content that is plagiarized or illegally uploaded is an example of bad etiquette. These actions may lead not only to adverse reactions from other users but, also to legal problems. Furthermore, inappropriate language and rude behavior should also be avoided on the Internet, as they may significantly affect other people’s lives.
Digital etiquette ties in with another theme – digital security. Some people do not follow the rules of the Internet and abuse their reach to harm others. Thus it is vital for Internet users to be mindful of such individuals and protect their devices and information from them. Information can be taken and misused by other persons with the help of viruses and other outside forces. The concept of digital security implies the use of protective measures that allow people to ensure that their data is not going to be stolen. For example, installing antivirus programs on one’s electronic devices and backing up valuable data can be considered elements of digital security. Moreover, one has to learn which information can and cannot be shared on the Internet. Although many people choose to disclose various kinds of private information about themselves, they have to remember that some facts about their life should not reach the public eye. Financial information, for instance, should be stored in a safe place.
Two aspects of the digital world that have been mentioned above can help a person to become a responsible digital citizen. By learning about the rules of communication on the Internet, users improve the way they interact with other people. Furthermore, they may think differently in real life as well. Being cautious on the Internet also changes the way people perceive information. As some people do not consider the digital world a threat to their security, others may abuse their lack of experience. However, thoughtful users know which data can be shared publicly and which should be protected. This awareness significantly changes the way they use the Internet.