What does it mean to be a good digital citizen during COVID?

Being a good digital citizen is knowing how to contribute and take advantage of the benefits offered by this digital life.  During this quarantine, while we may be locked inside, feelings re certainly starting to seep through the social networks.  People are opinionated (which is natural) and tend to share it in ways that can either be hopeful or hateful.

From fake news to fear-mongering, there has been plenty of unrest among those of us just trying to do our best to adhere to regulations that we trust will keep our communities and loved ones safe. This is a time that impacts absolutely everyone in our world.  We are all overwhelmed or even confused a tad about what the next steps are.  No one really knows for certain, so a little GRACE can go a long way online. Here, we discuss how to be a good Digital Citizen in the midst of a pandemic and well into the future on online etiquette once this passes. 



To be a digital citizen is to understand that the digital realm is an additional experience that offers opportunities for entertainment, while also demanding duties, rights, and risks.


Understanding this scenario, the digital citizen is that subject that knows how to take advantage of the opportunities of the digital economy,  knows their rights and responsibilities when using technology and communicates or participates responsibly on digital forums.


A good Digital Citizen is summed up easily in these 4 attributes:

  • Use technologies to solve everyday tasks saving time and money.
  • Is prepared to find opportunities for personal and professional growth through the Internet.
  • Performs any basic task on a computer, making use of the Internet and online tools.
  • Uses the technologies to provide solutions to the personal and community needs of the country they are residing in.

Benefits and characteristics of a Digital Citizen

The opportunities and benefits at the time of becoming a Digital Citizen are many:  security, quality of life, greater knowledge, increase the possibilities of entertainment, prepare for the digital economy and more productive life are some of the main benefits.


New job opportunities

Knowing and understanding the new digital economy offers advantages over other candidates or applicants to a job. Having and certifying learning certifications (in this case digital) strengthens any resume and makes the candidate who has much more attractive in a selection process.

You could always consider using digital media options to help you gain a side gig or join the freelance gig economy for work that doesn't require leaving home. 

Additionally, you may be able to use the digital media options now presented to get work done remotely moving forward.  When things settle, imagine using this time to focus on ways to better equip the company you work for or own to  participate in many more online projects.  Think about the many possibilities that can either save the company money or make it more. A digital citizen can take better advantage of the different opportunities and tools offered by digital platforms.


Digital Citizens see Time-saving Opportunities

The mere knowing of how the internet works and some of its advanced tools can save a Digital Citizen time. You will not waste hours traveling or waiting in line for procedures that can be solved online. You can work from home without wasting hours of travel on public transport, increasing your productivity and increasing the time you spend on your home, your family, and  friends.

Use this time to find apps and programs that help you optimize your quality of life so when things go back to normal, they are better than before. 



Protects identity and information

When Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social services arrived, nobody knew how to use them, and everything went towards an overflow of dangerous information. Everything was published, delivering on a silver platter the most sensitive data for which many people have been victims of crime. Understanding the importance of the data that is shared, the value that privacy has and knowing when to deliver it or not is part of the training that separates a digital citizen from a good digital citizen.

The same goes for this overwhelming amount of "news" and conflicting reports in numbers and stay-at-home ordinances.  Do not believe everything you read.   Be a smart digital citizen and resource wisely.  


Know where you stand

While the digital environment brings many opportunities, it also brings responsibilities, and a digital citizen knows them. She knows how far she can go, what she can or cannot do, knows her rights and those of others, knows about digital laws and the legal effects that may exist, and uses digital platforms to enhance her quality of life and work while also enjoying its benefits responsibly.


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