Connections to Digital Identity

In my second year of University I watched the Doc Zone Sexed up Kids video in my Sociology 213 class. However, in this class, we were watching it with a different focus so I had not really thought of how the topic related to digital identity. I decided to watch Sexed up Kids again this time focusing on how it relates to digital identity. While watching it again I found myself making many connections to Mike Ribble’s nine areas of digital identity that we discussed in class last Tuesday. Even though there could be connections made to pretty much every one of the nine areas of digital identity the ones that I saw most prominently in the video were: digital communication, digital literacy, and digital etiquette.

Digital communication refers to electronic exchange of information and how communication is different online. Sexed up Kids describes social media as the most public we can get and our bodies as the most private we can get. However, some of the students interviewed in the documentary were beginning to use the most private aspect for public communication online. Additionally, digital communication describes how anything we share online can spread very quickly. In Sexed up Kids it does not appear that the students are aware of how fast information could spread when they were sending pictures. One of the young girls describes how she sent a picture to a boy and next things she knows he is sending it to ten of his friends. This is a dangerous trend because now she has no control of who sends it to whom and how many people see the picture. Near the end of the documentary, she says that to her knowledge, all the pictures were deleted. As teachers I think it is very important that we explore with our students how to responsibly communicate online. I don’t want to scare students away from communicating online because it can be a great way to network with others. However, the communication that students engage in online should be no different then the communication that is appropriate in person.

Digital literacy refers to the process of teaching students how to use technology. It also refers to the students learning about the technology and how to use it wisely. I think this could be a daunting task because as Sexed up Kids alluded to, not only is it easier for students to see things online, it is also easier for students to create things to post on line. Therefore, I want my students to be critical thinkers and be able to assess and analyze what they are viewing and posting online. As well, I will work to have my students understand what happens to the things they post on line and the long lasting effects of the things they post on line.

The final connection to digital identity that I saw in Sexed up Kids was the connection to digital etiquette. In class on Tuesday, digital etiquette was described as electronic standards of conduct or procedure. These standards of conduct or procedures can be very hard for students to understand as students are being given adult tools or adult means of technology that they then have to navigate. In turn, this illustrates the importance have teaching students how to be digitally literate.

If you have not seen it before here is the link to the Doc Zone Sexed up Kids video.

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