Digital Citizenship

“My philosophy is kindness.” –Dalai Lama

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” –Aesop

Digital Citizenship Policy:

Be kind, or be silent.

It’s not so easy sometimes, especially online. For the purposes of this blog, you will be kind to others, even when debating subjects or expressing controversial opinions.


Kind: “You bring up interesting points on that topic but have you considered…”

Unkind: “That’s the #$%$ing dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”  (Note: Even without the “#$%$ing” that comment would have fallen into “unkind.”

Personal Branding:

What you do online is public. It stays with you forever. Many people fear this–it can be used to your advantage if you’re basically a kind and good human being. When future employers and other people check up on you, they’ll find amazing, great stuff. Look at digital citizenship as the building blocks to constructing a great personal brand. Your personal brand is what people will see when they read your comments, look at your social media profiles. It’s the opinion they form about you.

As an employer, I check up on people’s public online presence. As a human being, I’ve personally been vetted online without even realizing it. I then received a job offer. This stuff’s real, and despite the privacy advocates thoughts, it’s not going away any time soon.

Always be aware of your online presence. This will follow you throughout life.

How do you test to see if your online presence, your “personal brand,” is one that you want to show your future bosses, friends, and college? Easy–test it out.

Testing your personal brand: 

1. Look through your social media accounts–your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and anywhere else you spend a lot of time. Are you proud of what you see? If not, clean it up!

2. Google yourself. Does good stuff come up? If not, clean it up!

3. Check your Instagram, Pinterest, and all other social media. If it’s NSFG (Not Safe for Grandma), do some thinking on what you’d like to take down. At the very least, change your privacy settings. That doesn’t mean it’s not out there, though.


Rules for commenting on Braincountry and class use of educational social media: 

1. Use the Golden Rule in all interactions. If what you are about to say might offend you, don’t say it.

2. When disagreeing, use evidence and kindness. It’s possible to have an intellectual discussion and learn with others online, but you need to stay on point.  Phrase things positively.

3. Don’t spam.

4. Make sure your comments add to the discussion.

5. If you are using someone else’s material, credit or tag them. It’s always nice to receive recognition or know that your material is helping others. People get cranky in the real world when you forget to tag them.

6. When in doubt, leave it out. If you have doubts about what you’re going to say, step back and wait… do not post.

7. Never post, email, or comment if you are upset. Wait 24 hours. Then consider the comment or email. If you must, write a journal or draft to get things out of your system. Don’t make drama public.

8. Remember: Any and all interactions we have with each other both in class or digitally, regardless of time, platform, location, or digital media, are for my intents and purposes, class related. All class related contact (and ideally, conduct in general) must be appropriate at all times. Any person not following this policy will be given a swift and appropriate consequence or reeducated to the expectations for digital citizenship.

9. Families and people outside our class walls may participate in open discussions, following all policies for commenting and digital citizenship rules.

Thank you for following these policies, and welcome to Braincountry!


[Photo Credit: LACMA (LA County Museum of Art) “Argument Irresistible”]  Do you have Snapchat? Follow LACMA. It’s hilarious.


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