This year, Safer Internet Day is all about R.E.S.P.E.C.T
Posted on February 6, 2018
1 min read
Happy Safer Internet Day! This is a day where hundreds of organisations, including Telstra, from 130 countries band together to help raise awareness about how we can make the online world a safer place. That’s a lot of people power.
This year’s theme is about showing respect for others online, and we thought we’d get up close and personal – because when it comes down to it, online respect starts with all of us.
Safer Internet Day is a great reminder to reflect on our own online behaviours – when we email, text, post on our social feeds, like, upload and download. We’ve pulled together five questions – with no judgement, but just a little bit of self-reflection. How many can you say yes to?
1 Do you always ask before tagging someone in a picture or video online?
As a Gen Xer, I am so grateful my awkward teen photos only travelled as far as a cork pinboard in the rumpus room. Fast forward to today, and visual archiving is a 24/7 global proposition. That’s not so much of a problem when we’re at our shiny best, but I’m sure we’ve all done things we weren’t proud of – we’re only human. Is it fair to broadcast someone’s wild night out online? Nope. Given that social media is more accessible than ever, you may want to think twice before posting that picture of your BFF letting their hair down – it could have an unexpected sting for them, including their job prospects.
2 Do you always keep other people’s personal information private?
Think before you pass someone’s mobile number to another person or share a party invite with an address on a social feed – innocent things can sometimes have serious consequences. These days, personal information is currency, so be careful when you share it; definitely don’t leave it ‘lying around’ online. Sharing other people’s addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, and other personal information online can be risky business.
3 When someone has an opinion you disagree with, do you keep your cool online?
There’s strength in our diversity as humans, and part and parcel with that is that we all see the world differently. This makes life so interesting. You should be able to give – and receive – honest feedback and criticism, and disagree or hold to your views while still being kind and respectful. If you’re looking for a modern way to help people online understand your tone, emoticons can add subtlety and emotion that’s otherwise lost in text alone.
However, if people are behaving badly online, this can be challenging. When they go low, stay high – but state your point. Things flame fast online; a comment can spark a hateful avalanche. Don’t be a bystander, though – step up and focus your energy on supporting the people that may be hurt by the comments, instead of fanning the flames of hate.
4 Are you nice online?
You know the expression: if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. It’s an age-old saying, but treating others as you want to be treated is just as important in the digital domain as it is in the real world. Trolling, trash talk, and hurtful comments are unacceptable – whether they’re said to someone’s face or from behind the cover of a keyboard. We need to all adopt a zero-tolerance policy to any kind of online harassment.
5 Music, movies and images – do you always download legally?
Ahoy! Pirates, don’t diss the makers. Think about the fact that an online movie, song or image is someone else’s hard work and creativity – stealing is disrespectful and unlawful. These days, legal ways to stream or download movies and music online are easier to access than ever.
How’d you go? Now, here’s one more exercise: just imagine what the internet could be if everyone answered yes to all these questions. If you want more information about digital citizenship, check out these five handy tools and tips below.