We explain what digital citizenship is, the areas in which it is applied, its risks and benefits. In addition, other digital concepts.
What is digital citizenship?
The term digital citizenship, also known as e-citizenship or cyber-citizenship, refers to the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), and the principles that guide them, for the understanding of the political, cultural and social issues of a nation.
In other words, it is about citizen participation through digital and electronic environments and interfaces , through the Internet and Social Networks .
Digital citizenship is part of the electronic government or digital democracy system, which is precisely the administration of state resources through new ICTs and their full potential, to make life easier for citizens.
In this way, a digital citizen has the right to access information online in a secure, transparent and private way , in addition to the social and political participation that the 2.0 media allow.
Values of digital citizenship
Digital citizenship can be applied to two different areas of life:
- Digital education , through the use of the Internet and ICT for digital literacy and the development of digital skills, to reduce the gap between the different citizens of a nation.
- Digital participation , which is the facilitation of bureaucratic, political, social or legal procedures of the State , using the capacity of ICT for this purpose, trying to make them a responsible use.
Thus, digital citizenship assumes as its own the values of democracy , applied to the field of ICT: security , transparency, ethics , legality and inclusion.
Risks of digital citizenship
The main risk of digital citizenship is due to inequalities in Internet access for different communities in the same country. It is known that not all citizens have physical access to telephony and the Internet, even though these are now considered basic human services . Thus, the advantages of digital citizenship are not available to everyone.
Paradoxically, its democratizing effect would produce the opposite effect in environments in which the upper classes have access to ICTs and the lower classes do not, or where digital education is reserved for the classes of greater economic power. In that sense, digital citizenship must be accompanied by intense democratizing efforts to bridge the digital divide.
Benefits of digital citizenship
The possibilities of digital citizenship are enormous. The speed of bureaucratic procedures, carried out without leaving home; The possibility of participation, reporting, contact with authorities or even access to digital education through the ICT themselves are some examples.
In other words, digital citizenship increases the comfort and improvement of people’s quality of life . On the other hand, it allows large-scale education and the training of critical citizens, aware of the use of ICTs and their risks, benefits and possibilities.
Concepts associated with digital citizenship
Some of the concepts involved in digital citizenship are:
- E-learning . A term that applies to learning done through electronic mechanisms, which makes it possible to take advantage of the possibilities of hypertext , image, animation, audiovisual and other available resources.
- E-government . The so-called electronic government , as we mentioned at the beginning, is a form of administration of state resources that takes advantage of the immediacy of ICT for customer service, streamlining their own processes and maximizing the scope of their informative measures
- E-commerce . This is the term for electronic commerce , that is, the possibility of acquiring or selling goods or services through ICT, or even of associating with them through business.