When we know better, we do better. Or that’s the goal anyway.
The same sentiment needs to apply to children (through to 25, when their amygdala is fully developed) who are forced to navigate who they are in contemporary culture. Except to them, it’s just culture. There is no comparison for them about what it used to be like. this is what they know. Access to people and information is immediate. EEE. MEEE. DEEE. OOOT. The world is in their skinny jeans pocket and the compulsion to check-in is real. As educators and parents, we can’t minimize or rationalize away their desire to engage with the platforms the world is using. All we can do it help guide them toward responsible use and informed choice.
They are going to send to picture, they are going to pin their location, they are going to talk to strangers (or not…they won’t know perhaps, will they!?) How can we help them make choices that help them persevere and maintain their dignity and that of the people they interact with.
Juan Enrique at TED2013 spoke about the permanency of our digital footprint in his 6-minute talk. He likens it to the obvious story we tell with our tattoos, for example. Our digital identity is our digital tattoo.
Maybe this is how we should be framing the concept of digital identity for our children and students, no? Are you proud to wear your digital tattoo?