The 3 Rs of Digital Citizenship – Being Responsible, Respectful and Reputable

The 3 Rs of Digital Citizenship – Being Responsible, Respectful and Reputable


In our increasing digitalised world, nine out of ten Australian teenagers are online. 90%
of young people have a mobile phone to view, stream, contribute and update content, with limitless access to the internet.

This presents enormous opportunities for developing friendships and relationships and building networks; gaining career knowledge, general information and global awareness; promoting individual accomplishments, experience, values and skills; and contributing to social change or community initiatives.

However, we don’t give teens keys to the car without a license and expect them to reach their destination, just because they have a car. Similarly, even though they have grown up with their smart phones, teens still need clear guidance on how to achieve their goals with the technology that is available.

To prosper and secure jobs of the future, kids must follow the 3 Rs of Digital Citizenship:

Be Responsible

  • Use privacy settings thoughtfully and proactively
  • Be wary of geotagging and use only selectively
  • Know your friends and followers and be selective
  • Report inappropriate online behaviour and block haters or trolls
  • Assess the credibility and accuracy of online sources

Be Respectful

  • Use your own voice and credit the originators of content you share
  • Be discrete with confidential, sensitive and private information of others
  • Only post what you would happily read out at a school assembly
  • Know that a real person is at the receiving end of everything you post
  • Unplug in real social settings and nurture well being with time offline

Be Reputable

  • Post to proactively create the impression you want others to have of you
  • Share digital content that reflects your values, interests, talents and skills
  • Build networks and engage with people who you can learn from
  • Contribute to social change and community initiatives you believe in
  • Make sure Google search results of your name leave a positive impression

In a nutshell, if teens can be responsible, respectful and reputable online, they will be able to take advantage of the exciting opportunities that technology affords them and make a positive impression with their digital footprint.

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