Technology, being online, using smartphones, tablets and computers, allow us to move inside a “virtual” environment, which, however, is not really virtual. In fact, it is an absolutely real world, which makes us citizens of a new environment, based on the rules of real life.
When we enter an online world, we become citizens, and this means that we enter a world that grants us rights, but at the same time asks us for the rules to be respected.
Being “citizens”, in fact, means knowing the rules of this digital environment, its contents, its positive and negative sides, its risks and advantages. Furthermore, it is necessary to know how to behave and above all to avoid, as in real life, talking badly about someone or making fun of someone.
In Italy, a document called “Internet Bill of Rights” was issued in 2015. It describes the basic rules of digital citizenship, that is, those rights and duties that everyone should have and respect when entering the Internet and the online world.
One of the fundamental rules, in the digital environment, but also in the real one, is to respect others. Respect online is mainly achieved through language. Discrimination can also occur by sharing phrases and comments that offend and discriminate against other people. There are several cases of people, especially teenagers, who have attempted suicide owing to cyberbullying.
This means that what happens online is real life. For this reason, you have to respect others and it is important not to write online what you would never say in person.
Therefore, what is communicated within social networks, even if it occurs within a virtual space, is real.