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Digital Heroism

Digital Heroism Challenge: Character

Your Character Hero: Dana Nelson

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Dana is the marketing coordinator at Signarama Evansville. She is also a  social media strategist who works with companies on goals, policy, strategy and training. She is a noted speaker, a founding member of The Evansville Social Media Club, a trainer at the office of Career and Workforce Development at Western Kentucky University, noncredit program instructor at University of Southern Indiana, instructor at Northwestern Kentucky Training Consortium, co-chair of Evansville Girl Geek Dinners, founder of Linkedin to Learn, freelance writer for the Evansville Business Journal, Purdue master gardener, and 4-H Tech Club leader.


What is character?

What is your personal character? What is your online character? Do your personal and online characters clash? Character is the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. As we are growing up, we often have many influences over us to help develop our sense of character. Parents, teachers, church affiliations, clubs and organizations all have a role in helping you define what values you are going develop. Who is there to help you develop your online character? We are living in an era where the “generation gap” is becoming wider. Students can and do operate technology much better than many teachers. (In the case of the Oakhill E-Leaders, kids teach teachers about technology.) Adults who are not as tech savvy, don’t know what platforms kids are on, and don’t monitor online behavior sufficiently enough to correct and teach unwanted behavior. Teachers often shy away from connecting with students online, so they can’t or don’t monitor.

Where does that leave you?

On your own. Not saying you’re not capable of policing yourself. I want you to be aware of a few things and challenge you.

#1: Should there be a difference?
Who you are on and offline should be the same. Photos, the way you talk, the way you treat each other and yourself. All of it should align. The reality, we all do it. Say things that make our online life seem greater (or in some cases, seem worst) than it really is in life. No matter how you spin this, it’s going to bite you.

#2: What you say matters.
When safely tucked behind a keyboard we are all brave. Some people use this false bravery to say things that are hurtful or unkind.

#3 How you say it matters.
Your digital footprint will be with you for a REALLY long time. I know you don’t want to think about it, but your spelling, grammar and use of foul and rough language will be evaluated when you want that job or internship in a few years.

My Three Challenges:

#1: See someone needing a character alignment?
Graciously point it out sighting one of the reasons above to remind them who they are at their core. This should always be done privately.

#2: Go above and beyond.
Reach out to someone who is obviously having a bad day. (Or in extreme cases point it out to an adult.) Did someone just post that they failed a test? Send them a private message with a funny (but appropriate picture or comic and an “I’m thinking of you” note.) Smile at them in the hall. Do something to let them know they matter.

#3: Monitor yourself.
Ask yourself “Would I say or show this to my mother, grandmother, preacher, teacher, or little sister?” If the answer is no…. Don’t post it.

How is your character alignment?

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135 comments

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Gage Montgomery February 10, 2014 at 11:39 am

When online I always try to conduct my behavior with class. I always stay positive on social media. As far as putting on a front, I think everyone is guilty of that. I will now make a conscious effort to be more myself when posting things

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Justus February 10, 2014 at 11:19 am

I think that sometimes hiding behind a computer screen can bring out the true character in some people because that security they feel behind the screen may give them just enough to come out of their bubble. Granted, this is more rare than when someone behaves wrongly and out of place. In my opinion, people online fall into one of two categories: 1) the people who are too shy to be who they are out in the real world, and 2) the people who use the security to become an online bully.

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Ally Wheeler February 7, 2014 at 12:52 pm

I always watch what I put online,

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Jaelan Sanford February 6, 2014 at 2:38 pm

I think people shouldnt act different online then they do in person. If you want to say something on a social media website that you wouldnt say in person then you shouldnt post it.

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Tanner Weaver February 6, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Character is important and what you put on social media reflects that. Of course, opinions do play a factor in the subject.

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Mariah Marcuson February 6, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Many people post online and do not think and relize what they have put could potentially hurt someone they just post and do not take others in to mind. Anything that you post online does not go away so even if you didnt mean to come across a certain way to hurt someones feelings there is not turning back from it. Make sure that you monitor what you say before you say it.

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Elliot Lehmann February 6, 2014 at 2:32 pm

In today’s society it seems that people think they can be two different people when they are on and off line. I believe your character should be the same on and off line. It doesn’t matter whether you are talking to someone behind a keyboard or face to face, you should always have the same character towards them.

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Alex Stein February 6, 2014 at 2:32 pm

I watch what I put online and I believe others should do as well. I would not post anything online that I wouldn’t say in person. If I see any of my friends posting the wrong thing online, I will tell them that they are posting the wrong thing and ask them to delete it.

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Jamie Schuetter February 6, 2014 at 2:30 pm

I am very careful about what I post online. I know everything that is posted should be thought about a lot before it is posted for all to see. I think about the consequences my post can bring to me. I monitor myself before posting anything. As a teenager, posting some stuff might seem “cool” at the time, but really is not, especially when it comes to getting into colleges and finding a job.

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Kasie Wilson February 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm

I believe you should be the same person as if you’re behind a computer screen or in person. If you meet someone in person and have a certain impression on them, then you go home and add them on social networking, you’re surprised that the person you just met is not completely different online. I strongly agree that people are more “outgoing” online. I definately monitor myself when it comes to social media.

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Dalton February 6, 2014 at 2:27 pm

I try to have my character on the web represent that of my character in person. I will say that when other people judge me only from what I post on the web, they don’t really know who I am. Social media isn’t a good representation of what people are like. When I post something, I think about how it will effect other people’s view of me before showing it to everyone. I would say that what I say, post, or comment about myself is more like me trying to make myself someone else. But I would say most people’s digital footprint doesn’t align with who they really are.

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victoria.fahse February 6, 2014 at 2:26 pm

I make sure that whatever I post won’t affect college or my job when I’m older. I am aware that whatever I post on the internet will stay there forever. Even if it is deleted. I try to tell people that if something they post is bad, to delete it. You should never share anything too personal or illegal on the internet. It will affect your future.

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Zach Cook February 6, 2014 at 2:24 pm

When I post something online, i usually look it over before posting to make sure it matches up with my character in person. Being someone you’re not online leads to fake friends and a loss of your real friends and i don’t think enough people realize that. I like what was said about jobs viewing your social network sites before hiring you, if everyone thought about that while using social networking I think social networks would be a much more enjoyable place.

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Jessica February 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm

People should be the same online and in person. Sometimes they are two totally different people.

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tyler ferguson February 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm

it is very hard to have a good character online and in person. I see many people who have a different charcter while they are online and when they are in person. It is almost as if they are a totally different person while online. I think they should act the same on the internet as they do in person. I try my best to have the same character with everything I do

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Haley Russler February 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm

People should definitely be aware of what they post online. Many students leave their profiles open for anyone to view. If many of the things that you have posted on a social media website are negative, people may perceive you as unapproachable. It’s not always easy to do, but setting a positive vibe towards others online can really help you socially.

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Alex Neikirk February 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm

I am in total agreement with this article. Your character is who you truly are, so it shouldn’t matter if you are online or in real life; your character should remain the same. What you say and the language that you use online definitely matters. After someone physically speaks foul language, it is easy to forget what he/she said, but online is a completely different story; what you post could be around for years. I like the suggestions that are offered at the end of this article.

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Austin Volkman February 6, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Before I post something online I think to myself, would I really say this? I agree completely that who you are online should reflect who you are in real life. If they don’t align, you need to reevaluate what you’re posting online and why you’re posting it. You shouldn’t feel like you have to impress anyone online, just be yourself. Personally, I’d like to say my character online lines up the way I act in person. However my opinion may be a little biased. It becomes difficult to judge yourself, this is why it’s important to have friends that hold your character accountable.

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Miriam Hazlett February 6, 2014 at 2:18 pm

I try to keep inappropriate language, pictures, etc off of my online profiles. The best way to eliminate these is to delete accounts on social media sites. People can tag you in pictures, and you have no control over some things. Staying away from them is the best solution that I have found to protect my character and eliminate the possibility of a post negatively affecting me in my search for a school or job in the future.

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ryan Loehrlein February 6, 2014 at 2:17 pm

There are two type of people that are on the internet. Some who get false bravery without any barrier and others who can monitor themselves to act like they are in person. When I use the Internet and other social media sites I make sure that I am kind and respectful to others.

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Janiese Dash February 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm

I monitor what I post to reflect my character. My charater virtually and in real life are the same. Whenever I see that someone is having a bad day, I go out of my way and try to cheer them up with encouraging words.

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Devan Hostettler February 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm

I think that it is very important to monitor yourself online. You never know who could look at your profiles and how it could effect you.
I also think that you should always stay who you are in real life online.

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Brylee Hagan February 6, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Showing good character on and off the internet can be hard. You feel as if because you are behind the computer or phone it is alright to be disrespectful to another person. Monitoring yourself can be a challenge sometimes, but it helps you build your own character. It also makes sure your digital footprint does not leave a negative mark for your future.

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RoukiWolf9 February 6, 2014 at 2:13 pm

I never understood the whole, we must pictures of yourself, and your family, where you put the house key. Why show others a way to hurt you, or ways to hurt those around you. I almost fear giving others that kind of power over me. What I do is post little from my life, but reblog things I find important for others to know, useful reference for other artists, and some funny pictures. That way people can read my blog, learn something, or just get a laugh.

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Nicole Beard February 6, 2014 at 2:12 pm

I agree. Your online profiles should reflect who you are, and you shouldn’t use such technology to create conflict. Social media should be used light heartedly and shouldn’t be a source of agony or unwarranted toxicity.

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Emily February 6, 2014 at 2:12 pm

People should act the same online as they do in person. Everyone can see what you put on social media sites, and what you say never goes away.

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Brittany February 6, 2014 at 2:12 pm

I think that it is important for you to be the same person online and off. If you wouldn’t say it in person then you shouldn’t say it online. Plus everything online is permanent so its important that you are monitoring over yourself while online.

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Evan Logue February 6, 2014 at 2:10 pm

I completely agree with the idea that your character in person should match your online character. Posting inappropriate things on the internet can affect you in all sorts of ways that you may not even think about when you first click submit. One of the scariest thoughts is the idea that colleges or future employers may use what you have posted online as a judge of your character. Because of this, I feel it is extremely important to watch what you say online.

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Jessica February 6, 2014 at 2:10 pm

People should monitor what they say online and how they act. They should act the same online as they do in person.

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Evelyn D. February 6, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Don’t ever post anything bad online. Once it is on there, it is on there permanently. Take more caution to what you say even if you are joking. Don’t act like two different people just because you are behind a keyboard or in person.

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Lindi Stauber February 6, 2014 at 11:08 am

I think your online character and offline character should be the same but for many people it’s not. People are way more brave typing instead of talking out loud. I think my character is the same because i wouldn’t post something online that i wouldn’t say or do in person.

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Anthony Juarez February 6, 2014 at 10:37 am

Having good character is essential in life. Your character influences your actions more than you think. As a person I believe we mush show good character in real life as well in social media.

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Nolan Schapker February 6, 2014 at 10:29 am

I think that you should act the same in person as you do online. Your character should never change in any situation. You should be proud of who you are and not change that.

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Bailey Beck February 6, 2014 at 10:25 am

I think that people should act the same way in person and online. People know how you act in person and if they see you acting a different way than you normally do, people will begin to talk and even worse, call you out on social media.

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Allie Winstead February 6, 2014 at 10:24 am

My online character is different from my personal character. I am more hestitant on what I say online then I am in my personal life. Social media is public and for safety reason I am constantly aware of what I post. I know there are people out there that can get my personal information if I’m not careful. Another reason I am hestitant on what I post online is becasue I feel that people judge more online. People are more valunable online and anyone can criticism them on what they say. People analyze what people post online more then they do in real life.

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Mikayla Williams February 6, 2014 at 10:21 am

I think my character online is more hesitant than my character in real life. Before I post online, I always think about what tone I might have when I say something. If it sounds negative or very whiny I won’t post it because I know people don’t like seeing that, or it could be taken the wrong way. I also don’t post personal things online because it’s not everyone’s business, and it’s not the safest thing to do. I have talked to people who have used bad language online and explained to them that in the heat of the moment it might not seem bad what they say, but other people will see that and it could affect their future in a negative way.

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Raychel McKinney February 6, 2014 at 10:15 am

When online, or even on something technological like my phone for instance I won’t ever say something to someone if I wouldn’t tell it to them persoanlly. A lot of drama has gotten started online, so personally for me if someone says something rude about me I either coose to forget about it and be the bigger person or simply talk to them about it face to face. A lot of people have become afraid of confrontation and even think that is morallywrong, but I believe that things are settled better with someone personally rather then talking about, hating on, and even judging someone via internet.

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Jackson Barnes February 6, 2014 at 10:12 am

I believe that you should watch what you say while behind the keyboard because yes you feel more brave but in person, would you really be brave enough to say it to that persons face? Besides the fact that you can also get in trouble for what you say. For example. I belong to a sports team that i had to sign a contract saying i could post any inappropriate things or say anything that would make the club look bad.

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Allyson Thompson February 6, 2014 at 10:12 am

I believe that my character is the same online as it is off because I have good character and I am myself all the time. Character is important because it shows people who you truly are, so it should be the same online.

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Josh Springer February 6, 2014 at 10:12 am

Reputation is very important. you should make sure your character is the same on and offline.

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Samantha February 6, 2014 at 10:12 am

I am very careful what I say online. I make sure my wording will not be taken the wrong way and try to make sure the post will not offend anyone. This is very important because even if you “delete” something it still leaves digital foot prints somewhere on the internet.

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Tabitha Schaefer February 6, 2014 at 10:09 am

I make sure that I am the same person online that I am offline. My cousins and family follow me on twitter and facebook, and I want to set a good example for them. I want people to know the real me, I don’t want to hide behind a computer and say hurtful things that then my family and friends can see. What kind of example does that show my cousins and sisters? I have to be a role model for them too.

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Kenzi February 6, 2014 at 10:06 am

I agree with her points listed. The person you are online should be the same type of person you are offline. Always think about what you post online before you do it. You would not want your mother to see something that was not meant to be seen by an adult.

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Carly February 6, 2014 at 10:06 am

I don’t believe that your character offline should be any different than your character online. You are who you are and it should stay that way no matter what. Technology can be a dangerous but great thing. It all depends on the user. You could lift someone’s day up by emailing them a note saying they are being supported but you can also tear them down. I think teachers should be more up to date with technology because kids need guidance on internet manerisms. I think there should be more observations on what goes on within the web and social media.

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Audrey Winternheimer February 6, 2014 at 10:04 am

I know I always double and triple check the things I’m about to post before I post them. I don’t think teenagers are aware sometimes of the stuff they are posting and how bad it can be. It seems really harmless, but it can really come back and get you later on.

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Candice February 6, 2014 at 10:04 am

People become more confident behind a keyboard. Social media canm show the true colors of a person. It also shows that you are constantly being watched. If someone doesn’t show up for practice, but posts a picture of them doing something else, they can easily be caught.

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Noah Weisling February 6, 2014 at 10:03 am

You should be the same person both online and offline because it effects your character the same way. Posting inappropriate things on the internet will effect your reputation the same way as doing the inappropriate things in real life. What you post on the internet is important and you should always keep it monitored.

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Nicole Chandler February 6, 2014 at 10:02 am

Monitoring yourself while online is very important. Digital footprints are around for a very long time, and you don’t want to post something and then have it come back to haunt it. Some simple rules to follow when online are be polite, respectful, and aware of what you are saying.

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Haley Redmond February 6, 2014 at 10:02 am

I see people posting things and I wonder if they realize some of the things that were said here. Your online personality can follow you for your whole life because once it’s out there, it’s out there for good. I make sure to never say or do anything that will make myself look like anyone other than who I really am.

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Jordan Dietz February 6, 2014 at 10:02 am

I think that your online and personal characters should be the same. I also think that what you say online is important because even though you might think you deleted it, someone could have taken a picture or saved it on there profile. And I also think how you say it matters too because different people will see what you post in different ways.

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tara February 6, 2014 at 10:01 am

I think people should be the same online and in person. It’s not fair to other people if you’re pretending to be someone completely different.

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Jake Silverman February 6, 2014 at 9:56 am

I believe that who you are online and who you are in person should be the same. I never put anything online that could effect my future or give the wrong impression of me

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sarahstephens2013 February 4, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Since I started using the Internet way back in the mid 90s, and I’ve always practiced what Dana suggested. I personally don’t like to see negative posts on websites, so I keep my own posts and comments positive, encouraging and uplifting to someone reading them. I aspire to be inspiring. What kind of mark do you want to leave on the world?

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Hunter February 4, 2014 at 10:31 am

people are just trying to be a different person onlne

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mit'ona February 4, 2014 at 10:28 am

People act like different people online to get attention

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Kara, Oak Hill E-Leader February 3, 2014 at 4:16 pm

When online I am very careful with my posts. You have to remember you have a digital footprint and and it follows you everywhere. I’m very cautious when I’m online searching for websites. If anything inappropriate pops up, I immediately close the page, especially on social media. I try to follow the golden rule because you want to treat others the way you want to be treated. You never want to post something that can be taken the wrong way.

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Sydney, Oakhill Eleader February 3, 2014 at 4:15 pm

People post things on digital media all the time not thinking about what they are saying. Pictures, comments, and videos can affect you later in life when applying for college, internships, and jobs. Before I post things I try to think about how it will affect myself and others in the future. When I send a text message I put myself in the other person’s shoes, what does it sound like to receive that message? I personally love technology and try to use as a positive and influential way in my life.

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Tanner, Oakhill eLeader February 3, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Every day I go up to someone who looks like there having a rough day. If they reply why, I figure out some way to make them feel better. Sometimes, it’s on line. When it is, I send them cheerfulpictures to make them better.I do this to to make people feel better.

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Christina, Oak Hill eLeader February 3, 2014 at 3:58 pm

A lot of people online act very different online then they would in person. I’ve herd that when your online and say something hurtful it doesn’t even feel like bullying. On Facebook and Instagram I’ve herd people say things that they would never say in public. I hate when people just say something and don’t even think about it, they just say it. I wish people would act like they do would if they were talking to their face. Another reason you shouldn’t post bad stuff online because it could affect you in the future. If you post something bad then when you applied for collage or a job they might look at accounts you have online and judge you for it.

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Sophie, Oak Hill eLeader February 3, 2014 at 3:57 pm

I really agree with this. People will post stuff online that they would only be willing to share with a few people. They don’t think about who will see them in the future, or even in the present. It can really determine what job you will get. Some kids don’t even think about these matters before they post.

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Matthew (eLeader) February 3, 2014 at 3:55 pm

I agree people should act the way they would in person. What you say, do, and post online could and will affect your future. Whether that be college or a job they will check your online behavior. I am on online games (Minecraft) and when chat is on and I say things I think twice before I post or click Enter. Digital footprints are extremely important and will affect your future.

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Shoel, Oakhill eLeaders February 3, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Think about if you would say it to your parents. If you wouldn’t then don’t say it online. Never put anything online that you would not say in person.

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Katelyn, Oak Hill eLeader February 3, 2014 at 3:45 pm

If you wouldn’t say something to your parents or friends in the real world, you shouldn’t say it online. You need to make sure you never share personal information. If you do or look at things online that you wouldn’t ever do in real life, you may need to be a better citizen online. Although you shouldn’t share everything online

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Jo Burns February 3, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Kindergarten Room 2 says that we can be digital heros by choosing our words well. We need to watch what we type, so it is correct. We should not say things that will hurt others. We should treat everyone nicely. We should help our friends make good choices by calling them on the phone or in person if they post something bad. We can always ask our teachers, parents, grandparents, and friends to help us choose our words for good and help others, too. We also need to be careful when we are online.

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Timothy Wilhelmus February 3, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Kindergarten Room 2, Those are some AMAZING answers! I love how much thought you all put into that :) It’s always good to remember that we have lots of people in our lives who we can turn to when we aren’t sure how to talk online, or when we are worried about our friends.

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Emily February 3, 2014 at 12:43 pm

I monitor myself pretty and i would never to something bad on social networks for my career i would not like them to see stuff and think bad about me thats why i would never do that .

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Morgan February 3, 2014 at 12:43 pm

I agree because saying things hurt someone including yourself. Posting something bad or even harmful can hurt someone or sometimes even you. I will make sure when I go to post something it won’t hurt anyone’s feelings. :)

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Paige February 3, 2014 at 12:41 pm

I AGREE!!!!!!! Because its really cool

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kalina February 3, 2014 at 12:40 pm

i think it’s good to have a good character on line and to be safe.

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makayla February 3, 2014 at 12:39 pm

i would never but something mean or direpectful things on the internet

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Daisy February 3, 2014 at 12:37 pm

TOTALLY AGREE!!!!!!!

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Paige February 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm

I AGREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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jared.riley February 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm

I monitor myself a lot on the social medias.If you post it you can never get rid of it. I feel like people should be the same on online as they are in person. I post stuff online that i will know that won’t ruin my rep.This is very intesting and helpful to see why social media is some what bad. This makes me watch what i put on the social media. Also you got to watch those pop ups cause because almost all the time they are mostly a scam.

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destiny chappell February 3, 2014 at 12:07 pm

I think this information was a very good helpful to somepeople that probably didnt know that

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Au$tin February 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm

People that post stupid stuff always get blocked to stay out of drama. #Blocked

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Dalton Ryan February 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I monitor myself when I go online by only being on there at the most a hour. Also I think people should be careful what they say online because if you bully or make fun enough of that person you could without knowing hurt that person by making them not trust anyone or if you did it enough they could come to school with a weapon or kill them self.

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Timothy Wilhelmus February 3, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Dalton, you raise a very important point. We never know the full effect of what we do online. The words we use and the tone we take with others can have a powerful effect on people, especially when they feel most alone and helpless. Sadly, there are too many stories of online bullying that end in tragedy. That said, there are lots of powerful stories of people being lifted up by people online as well. I wonder how many lives we could change if we all just chose to use our time online to lift others up. An hour online a day would be enough time to make a big difference. Check this out as an example: http://www.educationnation.com/index.cfm?objectid=2BAAD596-59CD-11E2-B644000C296BA163

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maggi cates February 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm

i think that if you have a facebook, twitter, ect. that someone should montior you but not being logged in to your personal stuff , cause its invading privacy. Yes, i think you should watch what you say when your on facebook or twitter ,ect. cause you would want your little brother or sister to see something that you dont want your family to see , i think you shouldnt post something on a social network if you wont show your parents thats my honest opion .

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Kris Gordon February 3, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Maggi,
Thanks for the comment! I find it interesting that you mentioned someone else monitoring what you post. I work for the EVSC, but I also have 2 children of my own in elementary school. They have access to technology at home and we tell them that we keep the right to see all that they post or comment to others online. I keep an open trust about what is appropriate with them online. I hope that you have a relationship with a trusted adult that allows you to have the mutual respect to do the same. When that trust is there, people tend to be more true to themselves and others online. Technology gives us great opportunities, but with it comes much responsibility.

Thank again for posting!

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Alaijha Baltzell February 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm

I think it is wrong of people to leave rude and mean comments or statements.

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Timothy Wilhelmus February 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm

I agree. Even in online spaces, we should remember the manners that we have learned. Being considerate of others is a responsibility for all of us.

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Little Zach (@ZachAdams69) February 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm

character is someones personality and values

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Janit Market February 3, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Zach, use your EVSC account to reply other wise you will not qualify for the prizes at the end.

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Chelsie Greenwell February 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm

When i’m online i be careful of what i post. I always make sure only my friends and family can see it. Also if there’s someone online that is bugging me or a friend and being rude i block them cause its easier than starting something bad.

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Kris Gordon February 3, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Chelsie,
Thanks for your comment! I have two comments for you. The first is that I’m glad you are being careful of what you are posting and keeping those interactions with close friends and family. I also challenge you to verify that you are only sharing with those that you know. There are many ways for others to see profiles on social media even if they don’t know you. Remember to learn what sharing capabilities exist in the social media services that you use. The second comments is that opening a conversation with a friend that is being inappropriate online can be difficult, but opening conversation in a private manner (online or offline) can be a really strong step towards helping others understand their own behavior!

Thanks again for posting!

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Ally wheeler February 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm

I monitor myself and what I say and so do my parents

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Kris Gordon February 3, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Great! I’m glad that is working for you and your parents! I believe that I have that same relationship with my children, but it is nice to hear it from students too!

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Leanca Tillman February 3, 2014 at 12:03 pm

When You post mean things it is childish. People Need To Watch What They Post so that peoples feelings won’t get hurt.

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Timothy Wilhelmus February 3, 2014 at 1:59 pm

I agree. Really, it’s about being a good person. How we treat others reflects on who we are, where we come from, and what’s important to us. Representing our families, our friends, our communities, and most importantly, ourselves, is a big responsibility, but we all have to do our part to make the world better, not worse.

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Ryan Heldt February 3, 2014 at 12:03 pm

To be honest I really dont bother to think before I send stuff. Online and offline are the same but i dont get on social media very much.

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Timothy Wilhelmus February 3, 2014 at 1:54 pm

That’s interesting. Do you think before you say things in person? We all have filters that help us decide how we express ourselves to others. Part of that comes from our concern about other people’s feelings, part of it comes from our concern about how others will see us, and part of it comes from a desire to avoid consequences for saying or doing the wrong thing. When we don’t think about what we are posting, is it because we don’t care about these things, or is it that we do think about them, but do so automatically, so that it seems like we aren’t thinking about them? Or is it that we haven’t considered the consequences of what posting can mean to our character? If it’s the last one, it’s important to get in the habit of thinking our posts through, even if you aren’t on social media very often. Before you post, ask yourself “Is it…”:

True
Helpful
Inspiring
Necessary
Kind

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Holden February 3, 2014 at 12:02 pm

I watch what I put online because you never know who is watching.

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Kris Gordon February 3, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Excellent point Holden!

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Mitchel Pickerill February 3, 2014 at 12:02 pm

She is a very determine person with a bright future!

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kylen.cooper February 3, 2014 at 9:54 am

i always watch what i’m doing and if someone is bullying i try to stop them and if someone is putting inappropriate stuff then i block them

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Kris Gordon February 3, 2014 at 11:32 am

Kylen,
It is hard having to un-friend someone online that you care about in reality. The actions of others that are your friends can have negative online impacts on you as well. I have talked to friends about their online comments and have had to un-friend some that would not change their behavior. It is a hard thing to do, but understanding that “I’m not the kind of person that would say or do those things in public” can go a long way in shaping your online behavior and also the behavior of those around you!

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Tias Stewart February 3, 2014 at 9:53 am

People should not post inapropriate things online because people look at it

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Kris Gordon February 3, 2014 at 11:26 am

Tias,
You make a good point here! Employers and even College admission officers now go straight to social media to see what kind of person the applicant is. When we post things online they become permanently searchable and archived for others to see. That means that a seemingly harmless image, video, or comment now can mean being denied of a good opportunity in the future.
Thanks!

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Timothy Wilhelmus February 3, 2014 at 12:46 pm

I agree with both you and Kris. What we say and do online becomes a part of who we are and how we are seen. When we make poor choices about how we represent ourselves online, we have to work very hard to overcome those choices later. Thinking about what we post before we post it, is an important habit to be in, and it can save us a lot of trouble in the future.

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Katelyn, Oak Hill eLeader February 3, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Yes. Never post any of your personal information online as well.

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Amanda Buono February 3, 2014 at 9:51 am

I block my profiles on Facebook and Instagram. On Facebook I only let good friends and family be my friend on Facebook.

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Timothy Wilhelmus February 3, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Amanda- I think this is a very sensible approach to social media. While it feels good to point at a large number of friends online, that is actually deceiving because how many of those folks do we actually consider to be friends? I do have some friends online who I have never met in person, but those are rare, and it still took time to develop those friendships. They didn’t start by just clicking the “accept” button on the friend request.

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zachary wardrip February 3, 2014 at 9:50 am

People online are not who they are in real life.

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Javion Madison February 3, 2014 at 9:49 am

Well my way of saying it is if mothers, fathers, or other relatives dont want their kids to be bullied or talked about online then get rid of the social life on the internet

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Kris Gordon February 3, 2014 at 11:23 am

Getting rid of social media doesn’t really take care of the issue though, does it? We all know that the same conversations happen in reality as they do online, but they seem hidden and less dangerous to the people making the comments. This is a tricky subject, because taking something away doesn’t make you stop doing whatever it is. It just causes you to take another road to get there. Thanks for posting!

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Bill Gumula February 3, 2014 at 11:31 am

Kris stole my answer! Social media is here to stay. It is not going anywhere. All we can do is learn to handle it in appropriate ways. Like when cars were new. We learned as we went that we needed stop signs and street signs, and rules about how to drive. We are there right now with social media – learning to create the rules and street signs to guide us in using the tool in the right way. Just like I can use social media to bully someone, I can use my car to run them over. Time has taught us that we use car in appropriate ways. Time will teach us to use social media in appropriate ways as well.

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markevious benjamin February 3, 2014 at 9:49 am

People are not how they say they are on the online.

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Kris Gordon February 3, 2014 at 11:18 am

Markevious,
While this is often true, many people are genuine online. The difficulty is understanding that there should not be two versions of a person in one place or the other. A good place to start , just as Dana mentioned, is to start by monitoring yourself and to help guide others to the same realization. We all can be the same person online as we are in reality, but it takes effort. Thanks for posting!

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cameron2.smith February 3, 2014 at 9:47 am

I’m never on social media I talk to all of my friends in reality.

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sarah.hills February 3, 2014 at 9:46 am

some people put stuff on facebook thats stupid and is irrelevant.

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neillie.petty February 3, 2014 at 9:44 am

I make sure i watch what i post and what i say on any website. I also don’t aspect friend request from people i don’t know or not for sure about.

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Kris Gordon February 3, 2014 at 11:13 am

Neillie,
Just like you mentioned, it is important to not request friend access to someone you don’t know! This is just like your face-to-face life, you wouldn’t go up to someone you know nothing about and start sharing all of your comments and pictures with them, right? Good Comment!

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patrick.bryant February 3, 2014 at 9:40 am

i monitor myself well when it comes to being online i found this very informing and helpful and i would start taking more caution when it comes to online websites

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brittany.holder February 3, 2014 at 9:36 am

I monitor myself on social media while I am searching the enternet also if other people are being inapropriate I just block them sop I can’t see it.

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Bill Gumula February 3, 2014 at 10:23 am

Brittany – What great advice! Blocking someone whose posts don’t fit with your values is a tough decision and hard thing to do sometimes, but it certainly a good way to keep their personal trash off of your feed!

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evan.kahre February 3, 2014 at 9:35 am

I watch what I am putting online and I think other people should do as well

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Ashton Schierbaum February 3, 2014 at 9:30 am

People online will act as they please. Posting unlikely and uncommon posts that you wouldn’t normally see. I have seen friends online and in “reality”, of course. In the real life they would be down low, not social, and would not even budge to talk. Online they were, social, all of the things above were the complete opposite! Why I don’t know why they’re like this in reality? I don’t know. It really annoys me to have to know that this fun energetic kid is a turtle who doesn’t want to come out of his shell.
His character is COMPLETELY different from his real character. Maybe, he feels more brave online because people can’t judge him,or that people can’t hurt him physically or they don’t know who he is. My character is kind of on and off. I can be really happy and or sad. It is difficult to talk to me on somedays or I can be talking to you for days about something of the ordinary like a Super Bowl XlVII. 43 to 8 made me
furious but the Bronco’s tried there best eh? Your character is your kind of personality is what I should say but an aura that hover overs you and kind of depicts on what type of person you are. In my opinion online and offline, please keep true to your personality to the way you are and what you do on things such as photos texts and songs. Signing out, Ashton Schierbaum, from Evansville Indiana Thompkins Middle School.

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Bill Gumula February 3, 2014 at 10:20 am

Ashton – What is it that makes people act/post differently online than in person? What do YOU think?

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Ashton Schierbaum February 4, 2014 at 9:12 am

I think that people post differently online because they think they have a “wall” between them and their surroundings. I think that when people get online they think there safe from harsh consequences that they think that they can avoid. Being online is a fun place but, it can be bad. I usually watch what I post making sure I stick to my character and not falling to peer pressure to make my actions and thoughts act otherwise most of the time. For example, your writing in your class and a “big shot”, guy walks in and your totally intimidated by his thought and maybe your actions change then what you normally would do, overviewing what your learning about class or when your principal walks in. Would you act normal or would you probably change your actions and character? This isn’t the best example but, it happens a lot in my opinion. The thought of being on an electronic where nobody can physically se you hear you,maybe, where you think your safe with pixels protecting you. Such as games! I usually maybe act a little bit more, “outrageous”, you can say but it doesn’t change my personality and character by a mile but, it influences me a lot and sometimes I think the way that because i’m online I can do everything you want. Although you feel like it you can’t. WHAT SO EVER. In my personal opinion.

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Timothy Wilhelmus February 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Ashton- I think you make a great point. People can be very different online than offline. I do think that sometimes being online feels like there are fewer consequences to our behavior, so being outgoing feels like less of a risk. That can be good sometimes, like when quiet students suddenly share more with the class in a digital environment. But it can also be bad when people make poor choices online because they don’t feel the same social pressure that they feel offline.

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joshua.casteel February 3, 2014 at 8:07 am

I monitor myself very well when I am on the internet weather it’s a pop up or if im just on a social media I monitor my actions and when I see other people who make bad a bad social media descison i should start measging them and telling them to rethink about what they post or posted.

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zachary wardrip February 3, 2014 at 9:52 am

Agreed!

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Bill Gumula February 3, 2014 at 10:16 am

Joshua – Monitoring yourself is so important. Remember that those pesky pop-ups are almost always a scam. I think messaging friends, in private, who post inappropriate things is positive. I do the same thing… just the other day I messaged a former student and asked them to rethink the pictures they were posting.

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Nekayla Roberts February 3, 2014 at 8:02 am

Character is some ones personality and values.

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Jack February 3, 2014 at 8:02 am

I think a digital hero should be a person that corrects the wrongs set by people online and that this character should be the same in real life as is on line.

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Timothy Wilhelmus February 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm

I agree with you, Jack, that as heroes, we have a responsibility to not just do what is right, but to also work to help others do what is right.

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Abby Weller February 3, 2014 at 8:00 am

Some peoples character is silly. I’ve seen people post of facebook stuff that’s not really like them. I text them or call them to ask about them annd ask why they put that on there.

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Dana Nelson (@DanaMNelson) February 3, 2014 at 10:14 am

Way to call them out privately!

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Jasmine February 3, 2014 at 12:37 pm

AGREED!!!!!

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jasmine wilkison February 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm

I agree because i have seen the same thing

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Jasmine Scott February 3, 2014 at 7:59 am

I believe that is true, I think people should be the same online and in person. I don’t think anybody should say something online that they wouldn’t say in person.

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Bill Gumula February 3, 2014 at 10:12 am

Jasmine – So important… if you wouldn’t say it in person, in front of your parents or a teacher or someone else you truly respect, you shouldn’t post it online!

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Jadxrian Green February 3, 2014 at 7:59 am

I do make sure i dont post anything to reveling because i know how bad that can effect your rep. And you should think of your and what would they say before you post anything permintly online.

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Bill Gumula February 3, 2014 at 9:57 am

Jadxrian – You are exactly right when you say something in permanently online. Once something is posted there is no way to get it back. Posting inappropriate things can affect you reputation now and or YEARS into the future!

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olivia February 4, 2014 at 8:54 am

I agree with jadxrian green

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