Digital Well-being and Citizenship
Brief Summary: Having a healthy, well-rounded relationship with technology and understanding its impacts on society at large is central to academic and career success. Implementing personal boundaries with social media and other apps, maintaining privacy online, managing a digital footprint and understanding how racism and inequality can be perpetuated with technology will help individuals use technology effectively without negative impacts and advocate for best practices for themselves and their peers.
Learners with proficient skills in digital well-being and citizenship should be able to:
- Understand the positive and negative impact of technology on society at large
- Evaluate personal use of technology and how it impacts daily life and mental, relational, and emotional health
- Manage their digital footprint by adjusting privacy settings on mobile apps, careful consideration of what to post publicly and updating personal devices with the latest operating system
- Avoid avoiding phishing attempts, create strong passwords and differentiate between secure and free Wi-Fi
- Understand that society’s biases are mirrored on the internet, including racism, inequity and other injustices
Market/Employer Trends: Employers noted that overworking and burnout is a significant issue and value when employees are familiar with managing their work-life balance, especially as it relates to managing technology, notifications, emails to excel in virtual work environments. Additionally, employers indicate they expect employees to be familiar with establishing a positive digital presence both professionally and where their personal social media presence may intersect. Employers are looking for staff that align with their values and look for professionals that can demonstrate that alignment. Part of that means protecting the employer from security threats with a basic understanding of cybersecurity.
Key questions for reflection:
- How often do you consider your digital well-being?
- Do you engage with others in healthy ways online?
- Does technology enhance your experiences or hinder them?
Strong digital skills in this area could appear as:
- Staying focused when using technology to meet goals without getting distracted by social media or other notifications
- Respectful online engagement with others and understanding when online conversations are no longer productive or appropriate
- Successfully maintaining personal privacy by using strong passwords and avoiding phishing attempts
- Managing a personal digital footprint to showcase one’s best self to future employers
Ways to Upskill:
Ready to grow your strength in this competency? Try:
- Scheduling a free Wellness Coaching appointment at the Student Wellness Center
- Attending a workshop or program at the Center for Belonging and Social Change. Some specific programs include Media Matters, reviewing Community Kit resources, or becoming Diversity, Intercultural and Community Engagement (DICE) Certified.
- Reviewing the Digital Wellness page, which is one of the Ten Dimensions of Wellness
- Reading about Civility on the Student Wellness Center website
- Reviewing the Digital Wellness resource guide from University Libraries
- Reading the Digital Wellness chapter in the Learner Technology Handbook
- Reflecting on your own Digital Wellness by taking the Digital Flourishing Survey
Educator Tips to Support Digital Skills:
- Practice respectful group discussion by setting 'ground rules’ before in-person or online discussions
- Provide resources in a syllabus, assignment or other Carmen page to help students stay focused while studying or completing assignments
- Ask students to reflect on and self-assess their own citizenship in online interactions or discussions and how their actions contribute to inclusive learning environments