In the simplest of words, Digital Resilience is the ability to bounce back to normal after any digital crisis. It applies to both, individuals and organizations. In this article we will focus on the digital resilience for children and youth.
Let us first look at some examples of digital crises that can have a high negative impact on the minds and lives of children and youth:
Cyberbullying: This is a form of online harassment that can involve spreading rumors, threats, or mean comments through social media, messaging apps, or online forums. Cyberbullying can have a profound impact on children and youth's mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, or even suicide in extreme cases.
Online grooming: This refers to the process of adults building relationships with children and youth online with the intention of sexually exploiting them. Online groomers often use flattery, gifts, or emotional manipulation to gain the trust of children and youth, which can lead to physical and emotional harm.
Deepfakes: These are manipulated images or videos that use artificial intelligence to create fake content that appears real. Deepfakes can be used to spread false information or damage someone's reputation, leading to social and emotional harm.
Digital addiction: This refers to the excessive use of technology that interferes with children and youth's daily activities, such as schoolwork, hobbies, or socializing. Digital addiction can lead to social isolation, anxiety, depression, and other negative effects on mental health.
Exposure to inappropriate content: Children and youth can easily stumble upon inappropriate content online, such as pornography or violent videos, which can have a negative impact on their mental and emotional well-being.
Identity theft: Children and youth are vulnerable to identity theft, which occurs when someone uses their personal information without their consent to make purchases, open accounts, or engage in other criminal activities. Identity theft can have serious financial and legal consequences for children and youth.
This is just a suggestive list. Unfortunately the list of digital crises is growing rapidly!
Now, as mentioned in the beginning, Digital Resilience would include all the strategies and best-practices which would help a child bounce back quickly to the normal state of life after becoming a victim. It's not difficult to imagine how critical it is for any child to develop digital resilience in today's digital-dominated life!
There is no shortcut to develop digital resilience! The best way to develop Digital Resilience is through DCIM education. Let's understand how...
Digital resilience is fundamentally connected to Digital Citizenship & Internet Maturity education. All the following DCIM skills have a role to play in developing digital resilience:
1. Understanding what is Web 2.0.
2. Creating & sharing digital content effectively.
3. Mature way of Social Networking.
4. Mature way of professional Networking.
5. Doing online Forum discussions effectively.
6. Writing Blogs effectively for Self-Expression.
7. Searching trustworthy knowledge online.
8. Utilizing open courseware & MOOCs for self-learning and self-training.
9. Being safe from online threats & acting ethically Online.
10. Building a positive Online Reputation for career success.
Without any of the above skills, the bouncing back to normal life for a child might be slow or incomplete. To understand these skills in detail, we urge you to explore the DCIM curriculum and read the desired learning outcomes for each. For further reading you can explore the 'The Digital Resilience Framework' developed by UK Council for Internet Safety.
Let's make #EveryChildInternetMature!