Digital Citizenship

Relationships and Communities

What are we Talking about Here?

In the online world we are constantly connecting and creating relationships with people but real life and virtual life are not the same. We need to think about how they are different and what that implies for us. If we want to be a good person in real life, what does it mean to be a good person online?

Why is this so important?


  • Today’s students are immersed in the digital world now and need to learn how to conduct themselves in it.
  • Students don't always think about the effects of what they say when online. They don't realize the consequences of their actions unless they are pointed out to them.
  • Much of online communication is virtual and many of the natural barriers we place on our behavior in real life do not feel as relevant online. Students need to recognize the difference and act accordingly.
  • In the future students will enter a workforce where they will be constantly connecting with colleagues around the world. They will need an understanding of how to conduct themselves professionally in this new reality.

Some Questions We should be Asking


  1. What does it mean to be a friend online?
  2. How do I know if a relationship isn’t healthy? What is healthy?
  3. What kind of person am I online? Who do I want to be?
  4. Am I the sum total of my posts?
  5. What does it mean to be part of the online community? What rights do I have? What responsibilities?
  6. Is it my job to help shape online environments to make them better? If not mine, whose?
  7. Am I thinking before I post/comment/like? What will the effect of my actions be?