There is no question that the digital world needs some revamping. The fear, the harsh words, the negativity is not the digital world we should be living in. We know many of you hope for a better digital world for your kids, too.
It starts here and now. You and me. We are the digital world. Our kids are the digital world. Let’s take it over. Let’s flood the internet with kindness, service, and positivity! #UseTech4Good
We (all of us collectively) are launching a Positive Digital Citizenship Movement right now! #usetech4good
The Vision: #UseTech4Good
We envision youth and adults drowning out the bad with the good. We envision the digital world rising up to a new level of hope and service.
The intent of the movement is to change the culture around conversations and actions regarding kids and tech. So that both kids and adults start with a positive, creative, others-oriented mindset.
The vision is to move past the selfie mindset, even beyond the learning mindset (even as tech can enhance learning), to fill a niche for movement around a service mindset.
Let’s all come together around the hashtag #UseTech4Good to capture these shareable and uplifting youth online.
Why Positive DigCit?
Just as good citizens don’t just avoid drugs or lock their doors to stay safe, good digital citizens do more than just stay safe. They keep informed, involved, and interacting with the community in that spirit of service. Think about how earnest we are as parents to try to model and create opportunities for our kids to experience service in “real life.” But how many of us seek, create, and co-create (with our kids) ideas for using technology to serve, help, and uplift others?
Families, friendships, schools, learning communities, religious communities, the larger community, and world can practice Positive Digital Citizenship. The sky is the limit as to how tech can be used for good; we just need to invite ourselves to think more deliberately in this way. We need to work with our kids to raise them with that kind of mindset and those kinds of habits ingrained into their experiences with technology. If all they hear are the don’ts, how will they ever learn to #usetech4good?
The following link captures the kind of positive DigCit we want to help encourage with the Movement. Between now and November, we hope to gather dozens, if not hundreds more stories. We hope to increase the number of more service-oriented stories (vs. the more learning-minded — something that is already getting plenty of attention in our culture).
Still, this curated collection is a start to help people envision where we are headed.
With Deliberate Kids & Youth
We are excited to involve youth in discussions about how we can build this Movement, together. This work is so much FUN. It is exciting to interact with people who want to make a difference in this way. Visionary, deliberate kids will be essential to making this happen. From the get-go, we want to model to the adult leaders that working side-by-side with youth is critical to this kind of culture change.
I like to share this video with people as well. It captures the kind of attitude shift that is necessary to move from a fear-based to an empathy-driven, co-creation-based mindset.
Devorah answers questions like, “Should I spy?” and reverses the question back to us saying,
“Before we catch our kids doing the wrong things… ask, have we done a good enough job modeling the right thing?”
Let’s get curious about kids lived experience with technology. What conversations should we have with our kids about technology?
Mentorship v. Monitoring
Let me not be misunderstood; we are not trying to pretend that preventing the bad should be ignored (nor am I suggesting 10-year-olds should have smart phones). But as with any other prevention efforts, the key to prevention is healthy, deliberate, empathy-driven, service-oriented living. We appreciate the efforts of those already talking about preventing the bad and how to keep kids safe online. Positive DigCit is that missing piece that will fill in a hole that desperately needs to get filled.
One of my favorite parts of Devorah’s TEDx speech is when she says, “We are worried too much about the salacious news headlines and not enough about what kind of people our children will become. Will they be thoughtful in their communication? Will they take advantage of the incredible power of digital sharing for positive outcomes?”
Kids need mentorship more than they need monitoring.
And when we invite kids to co-create solutions, we invite the things we really want to see happen in their lives.